From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The Country Director,ctionAid Nigeria Ene Obi has called on the Inspector General of Police, to ensure that the perpetrators of the assault on Barrister Goodness Ibangah are identified and prosecuted in accordance with the law.
In a press statement made available to the press in Lokoja, the Organization stressed that the alleged Rape Case should be fully investigated, and the perpetrator prosecuted in accordance with the law.
Obi stated that “ActionAid Nigeria is dismayed by the recent news of Police Harassment, Battery, Vandalism, and Unlawful arrests perpetrated by four uniformed men who claimed to be members of the Enugu Police Area Command in the office premises of Women Aid Collective’s (WACOL) in Enugu state in a bid to pervert justice on a Rape Case.
The organization stressed its sadness over the act as the Survivor of the attack, Barrister Goodness Ibangah, who almost died in the process, and the Organization she works for, WACOL, have been in the forefront of assisting the Nigerian Police to curb crimes in the Country.
“Such Brutality by the police, who should be the custodians and upholders of the law, is nothing but an outright and total disregard for Human Life, human dignity, and the law they claim to uphold.” the statement added.
The statement further pointed out “We do not consider this as an attack on one Woman, rather, it is an attack on all Nigerian Women; it is an attack on Survivors of Physical and Sexual Violence; it is an attack on Women working to protect Women; it is an attack on Women’s Rights; it is an attack on the Law Profession; it is an attack on Justice, and there must be consequences.”
The statement commended Enugu State Commissioner of Police for setting up an investigation panel to look into the matter adding that ActionAid Nigeria will emphasize that justice be best served if the Rape Case is transferred out of Enugu state to eliminate the bias and further threats as the Survivor, Witness and the Women’s Right Organisation in question, WACOL have complained of intimidation and threat to life and property.
“The life and full protection of the survivors and other persons involved in the case, including the properties of the organisation involved should be guaranteed.” the statement added.
Obi said that IGP must stand against the gross violation of the rights of Nigerian citizens, particularly those of Women and Girls by unscrupulous officers who claim to be officers of the law and members of the Nigerian Police.
“As a women’s rights organisation, we are watching and monitoring this case closely, for the opportunity to protect the Nigerian woman is too important to miss.”