The police in Enugu State said they have arrested six suspects who allegedly stripped and assaulted a woman in the state.
The police spokesperson in the state, Daniel Ndukwe, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.
The incident happened on 27 October in Agunese, Afam-Mmaku, a community in Awgu Local Government Area of the state.
The victim, Anthonia Okonkwo, a widow, was accused by some youths in the community of desecrating their shrine by harvesting snails in a forest around the shrine.
But she has denied harvesting the snail in the shrine.
Mrs Okonkwo, 44, said she harvested and sold snails in the community for a long time to cater for her four children since her husband died 13 years ago.
She said that on the day of the incident, she was in her house when she heard noises outside and the youths invaded her home, and dragged her out, without any opportunity to defend herself.
According to her, the youths started beating her with weapons and clubs, stripped and tied fresh palm fronds around her waist and neck which symbolised that she had committed a taboo in the community.
The police spokesperson, Mr Ndukwe, said six of the persons who allegedly carried out the act had been arrested.
He gave the names of the arrested suspects as Maduabuchi Madueke, 34, Obioma Nwangene, 39, and Stan Okoro, 44, who allegedly led others to strip and assault the widow.
Others are, Samuel Anikene, 24, Chukwuebuka Agu, 32, and Jonathan Nwangene, 43 –– all males.
“Investigative efforts are ongoing to arrest others at large,” said Mr Ndukwe, a deputy superintendent of police.
He said investigation showed that the suspects also beat up and injured the victim’s brother when he attempted to stop them from attacking the victim.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Ahmed Ammani, has ordered investigation into the incident, Mr Ndukwe said.
Mr Ammani said the “acts of torture, dehumanisation and degradation” of the victim were in contravention of extant laws and fundamental human rights.
The police commissioner directed that the investigation be concluded within the shortest possible time and the suspects arraigned.
He urged residents of the state, especially traditional rulers, to ensure that caution was exercised when customary norms are being enforced on the people.
The enforcement of such customary norms should not be in violation of fundamental human rights of residents, he said.
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