Mr. Seun Odebunmi, father of Damilare and Michael, the two children rescued by residents of Owutu in Ikorodu, after suffering severe abuse in the hands of their father and step-mother, has attributed his actions to devil’s handiwork.
“We did not mean to cause the children any harm,” he said. “All we did was discipline them for stealing,” he added.
According to the 36-year-old father of four, “Damilare and Michael are the children I had from my first wife; their mother abandoned them when they were four years and two years old, respectively.
“I am a company driver before I had this accident that affected my legs. I have undergone two surgeries. While I was still driving, I leave home very early and come back late. Each time I return from work, I get complaints about the two of them.
“My wife and I went out; when we came back we found out that Damilare has taken my drugs. I was the one that beat him up. But I wanted to take him to the hospital before people in the community called the police, who came to his rescue.
“We have not registered both of them in school because we are still searching for a better school for them.”
According to 33-year-old Adepeju Odebunmi, a trader, “I am their step-mother. My husband disciplined Damilare because he steals food in the house. He is fond of going into the kitchen to steal food, including soup from the pot.
“When I returned from an outing with my husband, I met Damilare swallowing his daddy’s drug. The daddy got angry and beat him up, then sent him out of the house. He wanted to take his shower before taking Dami to the hospital.
“The neighbours invited the police, who arrested us. I always report to their father when they misbehave. Most times, I discipline them myself. I use the same cane on them and my biological children and give them food three times daily.
“The scars on their body are from rough play.”
Despite the denial from their step-mother, her daughter said: “Mummy usually beats Damilare with horsewhip and plank.