When the news and video recordings of the torture and dehumanizing stripping of a 15 year old Uzoamaka Chukwu of Uburu, Ohaozara council area of Ebonyi state found its way into the internet and its subsequent viral movement, not too many Nigerians especially people of Ebonyi state knew exactly what happened.
Nigerians continued to speculate and alleging many things as the true picture of what really transpired in the incident when a 15 year old Uzoamaka, a JSS 2 student was allegedly stripped naked by a council chairman assisted by four other including two serving policemen for allegedly having sex in the house.
Not until the member representing Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo federal constituency, Linus Okorie decided to take the matter up and invited the victim to know exactly what really transpired was the hell was let loose as the traumatized young girl opened can or worms on how she was arrested and taken to the house of the Coordinator of Ohaozara West Development Centre (names withheld) for allegedly having sex with another boy.
Before the intervention of Linus Okorie, what was posted in the picture alongside the video recording of how the victim was unladed and placed on a centre table with her aggressors wielding canes and horse whip and went viral was that the young girl was caught by her father having sex with her boyfriend in their family house and decided to strip her and flog hell out of her.
Shortly after the video went viral on facebook and other social media networks, many Nigerian started condemning the acts with many of them mostly women vowing to pursue the matter to its logical conclusion on the ground that no matter how bad what the girl did was, she did not deserve to be so treated and dehumanized.
How it all started
On the invitation of the member representing Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo federal constituency, Mr. Linus Okorie based on the petition sent to him by the relative of the victim, the victim opened up and narrated how she was allegedly arrested by boys loyal to the council boss who had accused the little girl of prostituting around the area and that she had slept with so many men including married men in the community.
Before now the story had it that on 28th July 2016, a disturbing video went viral. According to reports, the 15 year old victim, Uzoamaka who was stripped naked was caught by her father with another man having sexual intercourse in his house.
A community source who introduced himself simply as Akpa said “When I watched the video, I had doubts about it because it was just the girl who was been stripped unclad and flogged like a thief. I forgot it. But, just few hours ago, a very reliable source gave me a different version of the story.
“On the said 28th July, 2016, one Uzoamaka from Ohaozara West Development centre of Ebonyi State, was caught and bundled into the house of the Coordinator of Ohaozara Development Centre, (names withheld by us) by his younger brother and other boys loyal to the coordinator. The coordinator had alleged that the young girl was in the habit of prostituting and sleeping with almost all men and even the married ones in the Community and delegated his younger brother and a couple of other youths, to go bundle the girl to his house where he stripped her and ordered his boys to film her and also to make sure it goes round so as to serve as deterrent to others who may intend or are already involved in such habits”
Also, a family member who pleaded anonymity and wept profusely while narrating Uzoamaka’s ordeal said she committed no offence. “Just like other young girls of her age, boys were on her trail. As expected, she has a boyfriend, but some boys including those loyal to the Coordinator were not in her good books. She saw them as touts and as a result turned down their advances. In fact, the younger brother to the Coordinator had made advances on her of which she equally turned down. So, on that fateful day, these boys and their coordinator conspired to disgrace the young girl. They took her to the coordinator’s house, forcefully stripped her naked and tortured her like a thief.”
“In the video, the Coordinator was seen wearing traditional dress dragging the girl and the younger brother did the flogging. My source further disclosed that the coordinator and his boys took this action because the girl refused to sleep with any of them. They however told the world that the girl is a prostitute and sleeps with married men thereby breeding prostitution in the community”
“Well, if you watch the video, for those who understand the Ohaozara dialect, she was being forced to accept sleeping with some persons in the community who are perceived political opponents”
The victim, who met with the federal lawmaker representing her constituency, said all the allegations of sleeping with multiple men which led to her stripping were all forged by those who violated her just to escape justice.
“In his own reaction, Linus Okorie said “earlier today, I met one on one with Uzoamaka Chukwu, the unfortunate 15 year old JSS2 student from Ubuuru, Ohaozara council area of Ebonyi state of my constituency, who was recently made “popular” by unknown persons who brutalized her through torture and defilement of her humanity. I met her on the invitation of the family who seek inquest into her sickening ordeal and also justice. I also insisted on hearing directly from her on the circumstances of her torture and public defilement for I must speak about it. I should do so in the strength of first hand information and conviction that she is truly a victim”
“Her story is heartening and painful. And truly she is the victim of inhumanity and highhandedness of misplaced power and authority. First she is a 15 year old minor and orphan. Her father died while she was 4 years old in 2004and her mother painfully followed suit two years later in 2006. She was barely six years. So she has no father to catch her in the alleged immoral circumstance that was earlier reported. The story is a fabrication to deceive the public into antagonizing her to cover the tracks of her aggressors”
“Her family is poor to own such rich apartment where she was tortured, molested and traumatized or the cars in the foreground of the premises. Indeed she claims to know the owner of the building who she reported was the leader and mastermind of her unfortunate ordeal. She remembered and positively identified more than four persons who participated in that show of inhumanity on her”
“More disturbing of her revelations is the fact that two serving policemen were actively involved in this inhuman and illegal act of primitivity along with a key political leader of her immediate environment. These two categories of public officers are those whom one would have expected her to run to if confronted with circumstances as she suffered in their hands”
“While condemning the grievous and indecent dehumanization that was the torture and public stripping of Uzoamaka, one is more particularly alarmed by the mindless act of video recording the entire nauseating scene and posting online of such vile and murderous product by the same perpetrators. I refuse to pronounce anyone guilty in this most inhuman criminality pending thorough investigation by security agencies. I however condemn it in most strongest of terms”
“I appeal to the Inspector General of Police as well as the Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi state, Mrs. Peace Ibekwe-Abdallah to ensure that proper investigation is urgently conducted in order to bring the culprits to swift justice” he said.
The police react
Meanwhile, the Ebonyi State Police Command through the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, ASP, George Okafor confirmed the incident and arrest of the suspects fingered in the incident and expressed dissatisfaction with the way the matter was being handled.
He said the police reacted swiftly and arrested the Coordinator and other suspects but lamented that up till now, the victim had not be produced by the family.
“The suspects are with us including the coordinator and others but we have been calling on the family to produce the victim but up till now, we have not set our eyes on the victim. The next thing we heard was that the victim had been taken to Abuja for medical treatment and the police is embarrassed by the way the matter was swiftly taken to the press and I don’t know if it was done for media hype. That is the situation now and investigation is ongoing.