Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
Police in Ebonyi State have arraigned one Friday Okoro, a member of Ebubeagu South-East Security Outfit in the state before a Magistrate Court over an alleged assault on a minor at her residence in Abakaliki.
The accused was arraigned on a two-count charge of conspiracy to commit felony and assault by beating the minor with sticks and gun butt which caused her harm on the buttocks, hand and face.
The court records the offence is punishable under sections 316 and 335 of the Criminal Code Law of Ebonyi State.
At the court, the accused, Friday Okoro, pleaded not guilty to the offence.
He was remanded at the National Correctional Facility, Abakaliki, by Magistrate Sandra Okorie.
The matter was adjourned to the 7th of next month for bail application.
The mother of the minor, Nnenna Ogbonna, who spoke to Our Reporter said she and her daughter, 15 years old, live at 12, Nwankwo Street, Abakaliki, where they were physically assaulted by the accused.
She said the suspect claimed he was contracted to be collecting electricity bills in the area.
She said the suspect arrested and handcuffed her with her daughter and took them to Ebubeagu office at the old Government House, Abakaliki, where the minor was tied to a tree and tortured over the false accusation that she fought the Ebubeagu operative when he came to collect the electricity bill.
According to her, ‘’They tied her to a tree and flogged her mercilessly. They hit her with a gun butt and she became weak. One of them said they would torture my son Daniel as punishment for others who ran away when they came to arrest them.
“While I was crying loud, the commander of Ebubeagu came. They call him ‘Power.’ They told him that we fought an Ebubeagu operative who went to collect electricity bills. He told them that they were foolish to have brought the matter there; that it should have been taken to the police.”
According to her, they were released, but the same Friday Okoro dragged the entire family including the Minor’s other siblings to the Central Police Station, Abakaliki, where police arrested him after observing that her daughter had already been brutalized.
She said, “He called the police who came and dragged us to Central Police Station, Abakaliki, but on reaching there, the police detained us, only for my daughter to tell them that she was brutalised.
“She was asked to remove her clothes and what the police saw made them detain the complainant and asked us to go and treat ourselves.’’
The then coordinator of the state task force on Gender-Based Violence, Mrs Faithvin Nwanchor, said the task force swung into action to ensure that the perpetrator was arraigned.
She said the minor was treated at Gender Based Taskforce Clinic at National Obstetrics and Fistula Centre, Abakaliki, while her siblings had been released by the police.