Abuja — AUTHORITIES in northwestern Nigeria have rescued a boy (aged 10) and arrested his father and the youngster's stepmother for allegedly keeping him with animals for two years.
The three adults have since been arrested while the minor has been hospitalized following the shocking incident in the Kebbi State.
The state government alleges the child, whose biological mother died two years ago, was chained in the family's goat stall since the parent's death.
His father and two stepmothers allegedly denied him proper food but he survived on food given to the animals.
The youngster, named by authorities as Jamilu Ayilu, is in a serious condition in hospital, days after a human rights organisation rescued him.
He is emaciated, dehydrated and partly deformed.
"He limps like an ape and behaves like animals. He is too pitiable to behold," Aliyu Bandado Argungu, spokesperson of Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, said.
The state government has taken all responsibilities of the boy.
These include medical expenses and education.
Argungu confirmed the boy's father, Malam Aliyu Badariya, and his two wives were in police custody.
"They will face the full wrath of the law. Better still, they will soon be taken to court for justice to take its course," Argungu said.
The governor has since submitted a bill to the State House of Assembly seeking to provide further protection, medical assistance as well as penalties for such offences.
"When passed into law, it will help in eliminating or reducing this kind of crime as well as give medical assistance within the ambit of the law," Argungu said.