Woman Brutalized By Anambra Anti Touting Squad Set For Amputation

Woman Brutalized By Anambra Anti Touting Squad Set For Amputation
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The Civil Liberties Organisation, Anambra State chapter, has condemned the alleged brutalisation of a nursing mother, identified as Mrs Nkemakolam Nnamani, by some yet-to-be-identified officials of the Anambra State Anti-Touting Squad for cautioning them over their “misconduct.”

Nnamani, a native of Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State, but residing at Oraifite Street in Awada Obosi, Idemili North LGA of Anambra State, alleged that she was beaten up and brutalised with short pestles by the SASA operatives at Upper Iweka, Onitsha, near the Niger bridge head, on her way to work, a few weeks ago.

A video making the rounds on social media since last week which our correspondent monitored shows the men, suspected to be anti-touting officials, hitting the woman and dragging her into a waiting vehicle.

The video generated wide condemnation among critical stakeholders in the state including civil society groups who questioned why the operatives should be going about with pestles maiming and causing pain on innocent residents who dared to question their conduct.

Speaking in an interview on Sunday, the victim, a mother of four, explained that ever since the incident, she had remained incapacitated and in critical condition and her legs threatening to be amputated.

She said, “The incident happened at Upper Iweka, near the Onitsha head bridge a few weeks ago. I was brutalised, assaulted and humiliated by the SASA operatives for questioning them for beating an elderly woman on the road.

“I was in a commercial vehicle going to Asaba that fateful day. The bus was still loading at the park when I looked from the window and saw SASA officials in their uniforms and combat trousers beating up an elderly woman with pestles and subjecting the woman to all manner of assault.

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“As they were pounding the elderly woman for a yet undisclosed reason, I pleaded with them to leave her alone, but unknown to me, one of the squad members rushed to the bus I was sitting, pulled me down, dragged me out and started using a pestle on me.

“After brutalising me and battering me with a pestle on my legs, he bundled me into their vehicle and took me to their torture camp, where I was made to cough up a huge sum of money to regain my freedom, but not without more assaults and injuries they inflicted on me.”

She said she couldn’t continue her journey that day as people rushed her to the hospital, claiming that she was later taken to several orthopaedic hospitals.

She continued, “The injuries I sustained in the process keep expanding and now they said my leg will be amputated. Right now, I don’t have money for such.

“Although the SASA squad visited me when someone who knows me among them told them my condition was deteriorating, they came in company with their leader and gave me N50,000. Since then, they have not visited me again even as my condition worsens due to lack of funds to continue my medical treatment.

“Right now, I am in severe pain and in critical condition. I can’t walk since the incident as I have stopped working. It has not been easy catering to my four children in this condition. I call on Governor Chukwuma Soludo to look at my condition and come to my rescue.”

In a swift reaction to the incident, the Civil Liberties Organisation, Anambra State chapter, reiterated its earlier call on the state governor to save the life of the woman.

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In a statement on Sunday, signed by Vincent Ezekwueme and Chidi Mbah, the chairman and secretary, respectfully, the group noted that the victim was brutalised, maltreated, assaulted and humiliated by the State Anti-Touting for advising them to stop assaulting an aged woman.

The statement read in part, “The pathetic health condition of the woman, who was beaten by SASA is deteriorating that if urgent and immediate steps are not taken, her leg may be amputated.

“As a matter of urgency and immediate public interest, we decry the indifferent attitude of the government towards the plight of the woman and her family because of her patriotism to call the agents of the government to be civil and law-abiding in the discharge of their duties.

The Public Relations Officer, SASA, Nweke Nweke, could not be reached for his reaction on the development as calls to his telephone line indicated switched off and messages to the line were not responded to as of the time of filing this report on Sunday.

When also contacted, the state police spokesman, SP Tochukwu Ikenga, said the command had seen the trending video, but urged the victim to make an official complaint at the nearest police division so that investigations could commence.

“Yes, I have seen the video. The woman should make an official complaint at the nearest police station for an investigation to begin, he said.

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