A government commissioner in Kogi State brutalised a woman and raped her multiple times over a post she made on the social media, the victim and gender activists have told PREMIUM TIMES.
Elizabeth Oyeniyi, showing her severely blistered arms and thighs, told PREMIUM TIMES she was targeted after posting a comment about the commissioner’s step sister, who has been her friend for years.
The alleged culprit is Abdulmumuni Danga, the Commissioner for Water Resources in the state.
Mr Danga did not answer repeated phone calls from PREMIUM TIMES and did not reply text messages seeking comments.
The International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) quoted Mr Danga as saying he preferred the matter to be left as it is. The politician neither affirmed nor denied the allegations against him, according to the publication.
The police in Kogi told PREMIUM TIMES on Friday that the woman had not filed a complaint, and that she would have to return to the state where the alleged attack took place to report to the police.
Asked if the victim could report to any police station close to her present location, spokesperson William Aya said “it does not work that way by law.”
Ms Oyeniyi said she travelled after he life was repeatedly threatened.
Amid widespread anger on the social media, after many Nigerians learned of Ms Oyeniyi’s ordeal and saw a clip of the woman apparently being forced to disclaim her earlier post, the Kogi government released a statement vowing to investigate the matter and thoroughly punish any offender.
In an interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday, Ms Oyeniyi said Mr Danga personally flogged her and said he could have killed her were it not for her young son who was with the mom.
She said the commissioner then stripped her while at least 15 men, who worked for him, watched. They suspected thugs videoed the nude woman as she was being whipped and humiliated.
After the attack, Ms Oyeniyi said Mr Danga drove her to a hotel close to the Kogi State House in Lokoja, the state capital, where he forcefully had sex with her three times overnight.
The case has angered many Nigerians, and activists have vowed to ensure justice is done.
Read the transcript of Ms Oyeniyi’s interview with PREMIUM TIMES below:
“On March 29, I made a post about the commissioner for water resources because his step sister is very close to me and she told me how her brother had failed to support her financially; that she dropped out of school and has been speaking to him about herself but he has not responded.
“So on Sunday morning, I saw a local comedian from our state who made a post of the same commissioner distributing relief packages. So when I saw the post of him praising the commissioner, I just made a post on social media. I thought that I should post something telling him that charity begins at home that he should start by supporting his sister. So the local comedian took a screen short of my post after insulting me in the comment section. He then sent it to the commissioner. Soon, people started attacking me on social media and so I deleted the post because I knew what it could result to.
“An hour after I deleted that post, some guys came with a gold colour Sienna and a Hilux; they said that the commissioner needed my presence at the moment. I was not dressed so I said I would quickly get dressed. They said the commissioner does not have the time to wait for me; that if I wanted to be bundled, that they would bundle me. They said it was because of the coronavirus that they may not touch me or get close to me. When I got to the place, the man asked if I knew him, I said I just knew that he was a commissioner and a brother to his friend. He then asked why I made such a post about him and I told him it was because of the complaints his sister had made repeatedly about him and saw a post showing that he was distributing local materials. I got pissed off, that he was showing off when his family was in need of his help.
“So he asked his sister; because I met her there and I knew that they had spoken to her and asked her to deny the fact that she said that to me. So he said that he would have killed me if I was not with my child. Because he had sworn that whoever made a social media post about him would not go free. He even said he had a chemical in his car which would have been used to destroy my skin at the moment.
“He then started flogging me. He was flogging me and asking me to take off my cloth. He made a video of me after stripping me naked. They collected my phone initially and destroyed it so that I will not have a record of everything. He made me apologise to his fans that what I said was not true. That he was not such a person, that he was a humanitarian. He even asked us (my friend and I) to apply powder and said we should not destroy his career with our stupid talk.
“After making the video. He gave me N30, 000 to get a new phone. I rejected it because I felt very bad. Not just because I was beaten, but because he stripped me naked in the presence of about 15 men and his girlfriend.
I was begging him not to strip me naked. They were about 15 men, his girlfriend. And his sister. Those people were making a video of me; mucking me and all that. I told him I could not take the money. So he insisted; he flogged and insulted me. He said I was as ugly as I was stupid. He kept saying that it was only because of my son that he did not do what he would have done which was to kill me. He said no one would have done anything about it if he killed me because I had absolutely no body. That I am a nobody.
“When we were about to leave, he said he would drop me and my friend at their place so that I will relax there before returning to where they brought me from. When he took me, he dropped my friend at her place and dropped my son with them and said they should take care of my son. He said he would go with me; because the place; (he friends place) according to him will not be convenient for ball of us. He asked me not to get down that he would take me some place else. I did not know that he had booked a hotel room where he intended to take me. When we got there; the hotel is directly facing the Kogi state government house by the right. When you look down, there is an untarred road that leads to the hotel.
“I had never been to that street. I did not even know it was a hotel, until we got there. At the hotel, he took a while outside and made it look like he had come to lodge a place for me so that I would feel convenient. I actually went in and had my bath. When I came out, he came in with two guys; after talking with them, he asked them to get me something I would eat. I said I could not eat. He then started saying all sorts of annoying things. He said he was sorry. At that point, I was still very scared cause I had this believe that he had power over me since I had not left his sight. Till late in the night, he started forcing me to sleep with him. He did it three times that night. The next morning when they wanted to go and share the relieve packages, he dropped me off at a junction I am not familiar with and said I would recognise my home from that junction.”
A statement by the Kogi government signed by Governor Bello’s spokesperson, Kingsley Fanwo, said, “The Kogi State Government reaffirms its unalloyed commitment to the protection of everyone from all forms of oppression, and will not tolerate violence against women or children under any form or guise.
“We give our word that if these allegations are proven, everyone found culpable will be brought to justice.”
Dorothy Ngamanze, a women’s rights activist, told PREMIUM TIMES that a coalition of civil groups expect an immediate action from the government so that Mr Danga is suspended pending the outcome of investigations into the matter.
“Our concern in all of these is that the power imbalance is too obvious. First things first, the government should have relieved him of access to state powers,” she said.
“I have heard her speak with different media people and she had been very consistent. The fact that he has still not been suspended sends a loud human right issue. We should all help to ensure that whatever bit of it she want to prosecute, we can help her through it.”