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Nigerian couple jailed in US • What they did to their 3-month-old baby will shock you

Seyi Gesinde

Friday, April 7, 2017


A Nigerian couple, Arinola 33, and Olalekan Olawusi have been jailed in the United States for abusing their three-month-old baby.

The couple were arrested in Providence, Rhode Island, US, on Monday, April 3 and arraigned in court.

They were charged on a felony of child neglect, first hand degree child abuse.

Providence Journal reports that early Monday afternoon, the frantic father called 911 and said his child was dying.

Three-month-old Tobiloba Olawusi wasn't breathing and didn't have a pulse, police said, but Providence firefighters resuscitated the baby in their rush to Hasbro Children's Hospital.

That's where the medical staff found the baby had old and new injuries, bite marks and a fractured skull, broken ribs, arms and legs, said Special Assistant Attorney General Shannon Signore, chief of the office's child abuse unit.

The baby's mother, Arinola, told the police that her husband, bit the baby and pulled his legs to “make him grow and strong.”

Whether the child will survive remains to be seen. The baby's prognosis was still uncertain on Tuesday, Signore said.

The Olawusis were arraigned Tuesday afternoon, April 4, exactly 24 hours after police were called by the hospital to investigate.

Arinola Olawusi was arraigned in Family Court on a felony charge of child neglect, her husband, Olalekan Olawusi, was arraigned in District Court on charges of first and second degree child abuse.

A judge set bail at $40,000 with surety for Olalekan and ordered him to surrender his Nigerian passport. The family has been living at 49 Constitution St., in the city's West End.

Both parents are ordered not to have any contact with the baby.

The state Department of Children, Youth and Families has been involved with the baby since birth, said spokesman Denis Riel.

An older sibling is already in foster placement with a relative, he said.

DCYF is investigating the circumstances around the case and conducting an internal review, Riel said.

Riel said a caseworker can have contact with a family in state care once a month, according to national standards, but there is also a network of community-based providers involved with the family.

There was no formal complaint about the baby's care, Riel added.

A caseworker was assigned to the family, however, there was no information released about how often the family was visited or what services were recommended.

Arinola Olawusi self-published a book: "A to Z Ways to Achieve Your Goals In Life" which lists her biography as a motivational speaker, who is "involved with helping pregnant and worried women and their children."

She wrote that she and her husband, Olalekan Olawusi, are "blessed with a loving son.”

The jacket says: "She is very passionate about knowledge and information along with motivating and encouraging the hurting.”