Police in Ebonyi have arrested four persons over the treatment meted out to 14-year-old girl, Uzoamaka Chukwu.
The Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, on Tuesday condemned the stripping and battering of the girl, Uzoamaka Chukwu, in Ohaozara Local Government Area of the state.
Chukwu, a JSS 2 student, was allegedly stripped naked, dragged around on the ground and flogged under the orders of the coordinator of Ohaozara Development Centre, Ogbonnaya Odi.
The governor, in a statement by his spokesperson, Emma Anya, said he had directed the police to ensure that all the perpetrators, be they political appointees or not, were properly investigated with a view to bringing those guilty to justice.
“Ebonyi State Government condemns in totality, the inhuman treatment meted out to a minor, Miss Uzoamaka, Chukwu, by some people in Ohoazara LGA,” the statement said.
“Government encourages the state police command to ensure a thorough investigation of the incident and bring to book, the suspects, some of whom are already in detention”.
“Governor David Umahi will not in any way condone the violation of the rights of any Ebonyian, especially minors, by anyone be he in government or private sector.
“The politicisation of this pitiful situation cannot benefit the little girl concerned nor the politicians parading her on national media. The naked images of the child splashed on newspaper pages are utterly condemnable”.
“Government has already taken action to locate the minor in order to ensure that she is properly rehabilitated and made to overcome the trauma she has passed through”.
Meanwhile, the police have arrested Mr. Odi and his brother, Enekwachi Odi, for the alleged crime.
Also arrested were two policemen who allegedly took part in the dehumanizing treatment meted out to the teenager.
Although, the police spokesman in the state, George Okafor, a deputy superintendent of police, refused to speak on the matter at press time, reliable sources in the force said Mr. Odi was picked up after he was fingered for committing the alleged crime.
It was gathered that the arrest followed an order given to the Commissioner of Police, Peace Abdallah by Mr. Umahi upon hearing of the incident, that all those involved in the incident should be arrested.
The member representing Onicha, Ohaozara and Ivo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Linus Okorie, has condemned the incident.
The lawmaker told PREMIUM TIMES in an interview that the action was“barbaric, unfortunate and undeserving in the civilized age”.
Mr. Okorie called for psychiatric check up for those suspected to have committed the crime while also urging the police not to sweep the crime under the carpet.
He said following a media report on the incident a sympathizer had awarded a scholarship to the girl up to the university level.
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