Posted by News Express | 24 August 2020 | 726 times
Civil rights group, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), has called on the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, to immediately intervene and order a prompt, impartial and thorough investigation into a gender-based violence against one Mrs. Chizoba Mgbatogu.
RULAAC alleged that she was almost strangled to death by one Okechukwu Nnaji who is yet to be brought to justice because the police seem compromised.
According to RULAAC, the case of barefaced assault was brought to its attention by an Enugu-based human rights organization, Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN) through a petition to the IGP.
In the petition addressed to the IGP on behalf of Mrs. Mgbatogu of No.50, Marcus Garvey Street, New Haven, Enugu, CRAAN informed the IGP that Mrs. Mgbatogu was sitting in her shop at Marcus Garvey Street New Haven on the June 21, 2020 when the said Mr. Nnaji, while trying to do a reverse with his Lexus Jeep damaged her car parked in front of her residence, close to her shop.
The petition stated further: “That Mr. Nnaji came down from his vehicle, checked the back of his jeep and was about to enter his vehicle to drive away when Mrs. Mgbatogu stood up from her shop and walked up to him and told him that she is the owner of the vehicle he just damaged while reversing his car and told him he has to repair her car.
“That Mr. Nnaji immediately pounced on her (and) rained several slaps and fist blows on her; further gripped her on her neck and twisted it in an attempt to strangulate her. It took the intervention of passersby who came to her rescue to save her from further assault and possible murder by Mr. Nnaji.
“That Police from New Haven Police Station, Enugu were called in and they took Mr. Nnaji and Mrs. Mgbatogu to the Police Station, along with their vehicles.
“That at the Police station Mrs. Mgbatogu collapsed as a result of the beatings she received from Mr. Nnaji and her husband who just arrived at the Police Station had to take her in his own car, assisted by a Police officer, to the hospital.
“That Mrs. Mgabtogu spent two days at Park Lane Hospital, Enugu before she was discharged. An X-ray was done to ascertain the extent of injury to her neck from the assault. Copies of the police Medical Repot and report of the Neck/Cervical X-ray were attached to the petition addressed to the IGP.
“That to their chagrin, the DPO, Mrs. Hope Isiani Okereke, ordered the release of the assailant’s (Mr. Nnaji) vehicle while still ‘detaining’ the victim’s own damaged vehicle. The victim, Mrs. Mgbatogu said the Police asked her to pay some money to ‘bail’ her vehicle from the Police Station without investigating her complaints of damage to her car and the violence on her by Mr. Okechukwu Nnaji.
“That the Police asked the parties to go and settle, but the assailant Okechukwu Nnaji who brags that he just returned from Brazil was boasting that Mr. Mgbatogu cannot do anything because of his ‘influence’.
“Dissatisfied with the posture of the DPO New Haven and her apparent bias in favour of the assailant/accused, the Mgbatogus’ got a lawyer to write to the Commissioner of Police Enugu State demanding impartial investigation and justice. A copy of the said petition was attached to the petition to the IGP.”
CRAAN said the delay and/or failure by the CP Enugu to respond to their petition has left them at the mercy of the DPO New Haven whom they believe has compromised and taken sides with the assailant/accused, Mr Nnaji.
According to the rights group, “The DPO (has) now started to portray the couple as trouble-makers and trying to compel them to collect the sum of N50,000 offered by the assailant for the treatment of Mrs. Mgbatogu,” even as Mr. Mgbatogu said he borrowed over N300,000 for the treatment, X-ray and scan conducted on his wife.
CRAAN said owing to the insistence by the couple on proper investigation being carried out to ensure that truth and justice are upheld in the case; and because of their rejection of the DPO's order to accept the paltry sum of N50,000 from Mr. Nnaji, which is far too below the cost they already incured on medical treatment, the DPO now decided that the matter is “two fighting” and that both the complainant (Mrs. Mgbatogu) and the accused (Mr. Nnaji) would be charged for “affray.”
However, Mrs. Mbgatogu was thereafter turned to the accused person as she was charged to court alongside Mr. Nnaji for affray. Copies of the Police Arraignment Notice and the Charge Sheet were attached to the petition to the IGP.
Based on the petition, RULAAC said it agreed with CRAAN that this case is one of gender-based violence where manifest injustice has been done to the victim by the DPO New Haven, Mrs. Isiani Okereke, simply because the victim is a poor citizen and the accused/assailant is a rich man who ‘just returned from Brazil’.
“Nobody is above the law. We believe that Mr. Nnaji should be made to account for the offence of damage to Mrs. Mgbagogu’s car and for the violent assault against her. We also demand that Mrs. Mgbatogu’s car be released to her unconditionally,” RULAAC said.
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