Sunday, April 5, 2020 4:27 pm
By Nehru Odeh
She is a 23 year old beauty queen and model. Were she to be in some climes, she would be a top notch celebrity and national pride. But in Nigeria, she was allegedly battered, assaulted and raped by a government official in Lokoja, Kogi State, over a Facebook post.
Though the Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has ordered investigations into the matter, the lady is crying for justice, afraid that her life is in danger as her assailants have threatened to bathe her with acid if she does not withdraw the case and keep silent.
This is the curious case of Elizabeth Oyeniyi,, the lady who alleged that Abdumumini Danga, the Commissioner for Water Resources in Kogi State raped her in a hotel, after he had sent his boys to batter her. After battering her, the boys stripped her naked and ordered her to apologize to the Commissioner
Horrifying? But wait for this. Oyeniyi was brutalized and raped because she posted on Facebook on 29 March, 2020, that the Commissioner, who was distributing foodstuff to people in the wake of the covid-19 lockdown in kogi State should take care of his sibling who happens to be her friend.
The commissioner felt affront and diminished by what he considered Oyeniyi’s effrontery to rubbish him.
This is Oyeniyi’s story, as reported by The Punch, “I left left Abuja for Okene to stay with my friend because of the spread of the Covid-19 and on getting, she explained to me that the commissioner, who is her stepbrother, had not been taking care of her.
“I saw a post made by a local comedian showing the commissioner distributing foodstuffs to people and I made a post that charity should begin at home and that the commissioner should take care of his household before taking care of outsiders.
The comedian saw the post and screenshot it after insulting me in the comment section for making that kind of post. An hour later, some guys came to my friend’s house to pick us up on the instructions of the commissioner and they took us to Lokoja.
“On getting to Lokoja, I was beaten up by the commissioner and his boys; I was asked to strip naked and a video was made and my friend and I were made to apologise under duress to his fans and him that what I posted about him was wrong. He later took me to a hotel for the night and forcefully had sex with me.
“I have been living in fear of what they might do to me, because they threatened to pour acid on me and take my life. The commissioner is threatening me to come out and drop the case. I want justice to be served, because he treated me like an animal.
However, in a statement on Friday, women’s rights activists led by Dorothy Njemanze of Dorothy Njemanze Foundation with support from ActionAid Nigeria and Global Affairs Canada, urged the state governor to suspend Danga immediately, as allowing him to remain in office cabinet might jeopardize the investigation.
They also called on the state government to identify the accomplices in the assault on Oyeniyi and prosecute them alongside the commissioner. They demanded that she, her property, family and other person involved in the case be given adequate protection
The activists also drew the governor’s attention to the fact that the victim and her family were being threatened, even while undergoing medical treatment for injuries sustained in the commissioner’s hands.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) also condemned the alleged battering and rape of the model while tasking all relevant law enforcement agencies in the state to conduct thorough investigation into the allegation and ensure that justice is served.
The Chairman of NMA National Committee on Gender Violence, Dr. Godwin Tijani . made the appeal in a statement he issued in Lokoja .
“The NMA condemns in strong terms the alleged human right abuse, assault and rape of Elizabeth Oyeniyi by Kogi Commissioner for Water Resources. Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights.
‘’Its impact ranges from immediate to long-term multiple physical, sexual and mental consequences for women and girls, including death. It negatively affects the victim’s general well-being and prevents such women from fully participating in society.
“Violence not only has negative consequences for women, but also their families, the community and the country at large,’’ Tijani said.
He, also, commended the coalition of civil society organisations for the prompt action taken to come to the aid of the victim in order to get justice for her.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner has been evasive when asked to react to rape and brutalisation allegations. When asked what happened between he and the victim in a telephone conversation with ICIR, he said: O don’t want to talk too much. Please, let’s just leave the case the way it is.