12-year-old's arms cut off by uncle over alleged phone theft; NBA demands justice

The harrowing story of a 12-year-old boy, Adamu, whose arms were severed by his uncle following accusations of phone theft, has prompted widespread calls for justice and stronger child protection measures in Nigeria.

The victim,

Mwalin Abdu, Vice Chairperson of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Gombe Branch and Chairperson of its Human Rights Committee, has vehemently condemned this brutal act. In a press statement titled "Protecting our Future: Urgent Action Needed on Child Protection in Gombe State," Abdu emphasized the need for immediate implementation of child protection laws to curb such abuses.

The statement highlighted the grim recurrence of child abuse in Gombe State, citing a similar incident in 2018 involving 13-year-old Zubair Abubakar, whose arms were also amputated by a teacher over alleged theft.

Abdu stressed that these cases are merely the visible tip of a much larger iceberg, with countless incidents of child abuse, including sexual abuse, child labor, and trafficking, going unreported daily.

“Even though the office of the Attorney General has taken over the prosecution of the cases, we believe that is not enough, because these two stories are just a tip of the iceberg of the numerous daily reported and unreported complaints or cases of child abuse in the state, ranging from sexual abuse, child labour, child molestation, child trafficking and so on,” the statement quoted her as saying.


The heartbreaking tales of young victims like Zubair Abubakar and Adamu from Gombe State underscore a troubling reality: child abuse remains a pervasive issue in our communities, transcending mere headlines to expose the harsh realities faced by our most vulnerable members.

“While the ratification of the child protection law in 2022 was a pivotal step, the gap between legislation and its effective enforcement looms large, leaving children at risk and their futures uncertain.”

Despite the ratification of a child protection law in 2022, Abdu pointed out the significant gap between legislation and enforcement, leaving many children vulnerable. She called on stakeholders to address this urgent issue and ensure that the law is effectively implemented to safeguard the future of Gombe's children.

In response to the recent incident, the Gombe State government has filed charges against Adamu's uncle. Abubakar Jungudo, Director of Public Prosecutions in the Gombe State Ministry of Justice, confirmed that the uncle would face prosecution for the grievous assault on Adamu.

As the community reels from the shock of this tragedy, the call for justice and enhanced protection for minors grows louder, urging authorities to take decisive action against such atrocities and prevent further abuse of the state's most vulnerable citizens.


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