By Esther Nworie
One Friday Okoro has been reportedly arraigned by the Ebonyi police command for allegedly assaulting a minor (name withheld) at her residence in Abakaliki.
The suspect was arraigned before Nkwegu Magistrates’ Court, in Abakaliki magistrate jurisdiction.
He was arraigned before magistrate, Sandra Okorie.
The accused was arraigned on a two-count charge of conspiracy to commit felony and assault by beating the minor with sticks and gun butt which caused her harm on the buttocks, hand and face.
According to the charge sheet the offence is punishable under sections 316 and 335 of the Criminal Code Law of Ebonyi State.
At the court the accused Friday, pleaded not guilty to the offence.
He was remanded at the National Correctional Centre, Abakaliki.
The matter was adjourned to the 7th of December for bail application.
It was gathered that the minor, 15 years old, lives at 12, Nwankwo Street, Abakaliki, where she was physically assaulted alongside her mother by the accused.
That the accused operated under the guise of being a member of the Ebubeagu security outfit.
Ebubeagu security outfit was a creation of the state government to tackle insecurity in the state.
The suspect said he was contracted to be collecting electricity bills in the area.
The mother of the minor, Nnenna Ogbonna, alleged that she was arrested and handcuffed with her daughter and taken to Ebubeagu office at the old Government House, Abakaliki, where the minor was tied to a tree and tortured over the false accusation that she fought the Ebubeagu operative when he came to collect the electricity bill.
”They tied her to a tree and flogged her mercilessly. They hit her with a gun butt and she became weak. One of them said they would torture my son Daniel as punishment for others who ran away when they came to arrest them.
“While I was crying aloud, the commander of Ebubeagu came. They call him ‘Power’. They told him that we fought an Ebubeagu operative who went to collect electricity bills. He told them that they were foolish to have brought the matter there; that it should have been taken to the police.”
They were released, but the same Friday Okoro dragged them to Central Police Station, Abakaliki, where police arrested him after observing that her daughter had already been brutalized.
“The personnel called the police who came and dragged us to Central Police Station, Abakaliki, but on reaching there, the police detained us, only for my daughter to tell them that she was brutalized. She was asked to remove her clothes and what the police saw made them detain the complainant and asked us to go and treat ourselves”
The Coordinator, State Task Force on Gender-Based Violence, Barr. Faithvin Nwanchor, said the task force went into action to ensure that the perpetrator was arrested and arraigned according to the law.
She said the minor was treated at Gender Based Taskforce Clinic at National Obstetrics and Fistula Centre, Abakaliki, while her siblings had been released by the police.
When contacted, the commander of Ebubeagu, Mr Friday Nnanna, said he would check whether the accused was a member of the Ebubeagu outfit or not.
He also said efforts were being made to ensure that Ebubeagu in the state does not torture people as they are not a killing squad.