By Izunna Okafor, Awka
The operatives of the Anambra Vigilante Group (AVG) has denied peeping a naked woman during enforcement in the State.
Recall that media reports recently trended on the various media platforms recounting the ordeal of a female who claimed officers of the AVG in Okpuno Village, Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State, peeped her and saw her nakedness when they broke into her room to collect N500 monthly security levy for the month of August 2023.
According to the reports, the female victim also claimed that the officers mishandled her, intimidated her and bundled her to their office where she eventually bailed herself out with the sum of N5000, in addition to the security levy.
Another male victim, who corroborated the first victim’s narration also said that he had earlier paid his security levy, but the security operatives still broke into his apartment, destroyed his door net, fired some bullets into the air, and beat him up, before they eventually took him to their office, where he also bailed himself with N5000, without knowing what his offence was.
Howbeit, in a press statement made available to this reporter, the Spokesperson of the Anambra Vigilante Group, Mr. Nweke Nweke, dismissed the allegation, and said their officers did not peep the naked woman or extort any money from any of the residents.
According to him, the allegation is a tissue of lies and a drama sponsored by some sacked AVG members in Okpuno, who staged it to tarnish the image of the AVG and the Okpuno Community.
Mr. Nweke, who urged members of the public to disregard the claim(s) of the girl and her conspirators, added that the conspirators, (the sacked members of AVG in the said Okpuno) had sworn to deal negatively with both AVG and Okouno Town Union as a way of paying the community back for having sacked them from work.
“Recall that the Okpuno Community recently sacked AVG men for having failed to abide by the rules and regulations of the local outfit, having discovered that they were operating on the back page of the law that established the AVG,” he said.
According to the AVG Spokesperson, an interim investigation conducted by his office on the matter revealed that there is no iota of truth in the claim(s) of the conspirators. He also accused both the girl and her partners of having acted based on the script written for them by the sacked members of the AVG.
The text of the press statement read in part: “Our findings on the matter circulating on social media have it that the girl in question was approached by the taskforce men who were checking the receipt of payment of security levy imposed on the residents by the leadership of the community and getting to the compound where the self-acclaimed victim resides, instead of complying, she arrogantly told the taskforce men that she has vowed never to pay the said levy on the ground that it is the prerogative of the government to provide her with adequate security.
“Some residents in the community, that spoke with our investigation team under the condition of anonymity, accused the girl of being sponsored by some criminal elements who are not comfortable with the tight security being provided to Okpuno by the AVG men, calling on the members of the public to discard the claim(s) of the said girl. The people of the Community made it known that nobody peeped into the girl’s room as she claimed.
“Yes, there were differences between the self-acclaimed victim during the collection of the said levy. On the arrival at the compound by the task force men designated by the community to go around and collect the said security levy, instead of the girl cooperating, she opposed the payment of N500.00 on the ground that it is the responsibility of the government to provide her with adequate security.
“It was then that the task force men, picked her up and handed her over to the AVG men providing security to them without any molestation, and in order not to cause a nuisance to the public, she was picked, alongside her male neighbor to the office of the AVG where she later paid the said levy and went home untouched while her neighbor provided evidence of payment of the said levy and both of them were asked to go home without any other attachment.
“To the best of our knowledge, none of the AVG men peeped into the room of the said girl, rather she only played the script written for her by the sacked AVG men as a way to swallow down whatever she might have collected from them.
“May I use this medium to educate members of the public that AVG men don’t engage in collection of any levy but we provide security to an approved body designated to collect either government or community levy for the fear of the unknown and I appeal to the members of the public to report any of our men found violating my claim to the office of the AVG head of the Operations or the nearest police station for necessary sanction.”