Kogi Govt promises justice for woman subjected to inhuman, degrading treatment

The Kogi Government on Thursday condemned the inhuman and degrading treatment meted out on Blessing Abbah, a widow by a gang of in Ogugu community, in Olamaboro Government Area.

The -General of the Office of the Public Defender and Citizens’ Rights Commission (PDCRC), Mr Abdullahi Zakari, made the promise while addressing newsmen in Lokoja.

”Abbah, was ridiculed, molested and exposed to inhuman and degrading treatment in a video that went viral.

”The victim was married to Goodnews, in November 2020 and both of them are from that community.

“Unfortunately, Goodnews died few months after the marriage, and the members of the community alleged that it was the abominable conduct of Blessing that led to his death.

“As Abbah was mourning her late husband, a gang of invaded her family house, took her to a public square, accusing her of the husband’s death.

“They exposed her to inhumane  treatment and undermined her dignity as a person as protected under the Nigerian Constitution.

”Gov. Yahaya Bello  remains committed to the welfare and rights of women and children and expressed great concern about the violation of the victim’s rights,” he said.

He said that Gov. Bello instructed the PDCRC and the Ministry of Women Affairs to collaborate with other relevant stakeholders, to immediately intervene in the matter and ensure that justice was done.

In furtherance of its mandate and the instruction of the state governor, he said, other actors such as the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and Kogi Ministry of Women Affairs, immediately formed a coalition to investigate the matter and ensure that justice is done.

He noted that the coalition team visited Ogugu community where the occurred on Tuesday, for on-the-spot assessment and to obtain the needed facts.

“We also interacted with various leaders in the community including the paramount ruler of Ogugu, the Ochogu, leaders, some community leaders and security agencies in the area.

“Our aim of visit is to ensure that peace in that environment is sustained, because what led to the harassment of the girl could trigger reprisals and things may go out of control.

“We also went for the purpose of rescuing the lady because it was obvious she was longer safe and her life was under threat, if she continues to stay in that environment.

“Our findings revealed clearly that there were cultural and , but they are not of concern to us. Our concern is the human rights of Abbah.

“This is an opportunity for us to talk to the human rights community both nationally and globally that the state government has the necessary machinery in place, to ensure that the rights of every resident of Kogi is protected.

“We will ensure that justice is done because what happened constituted a violation of the young girl’s rights. We will also ensure that those involved in the dastardly act for it, by following due process of the law.

“As we speak, the security agencies in the state had been instructed to ensure that those involved in the act are brought to book.

“They will be investigated and prosecuted accordingly, and that is what the PDCRC, FIDA, and the Ministry of Women Affairs, stand squarely for,” Zakari said.

Also speaking, the State Chairperson of FIDA, Lilian Okolo, said that the victim is safe and secured.

Okolo assured that FIDA will ensure that the culprits are prosecuted. (NAN)