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Lawyer seeks justice over brutalised widows in Imo


SEQUEL to the February 11, 2015 flogging and torture of protesting widows and a journalist in Imo State by hoodlums allegedly sponsored by officials of the Imo State government, a Lagos-based lawyer and former coordinator of Lawyers Group of Amnesty International in Nigeria, Aham Njoku, has called for appropriate redress for the victims.

    The lawyer in a letter dated February 17, 2015 and addressed to the Secretary General of the London-based rights group, Amnesty International, noted that the torture and degrading treatment meted to the widows, who gathered in front of the Government House in Owerri, the capital of Imo State to stage a peaceful protest against the actions of the governor, which they considered offensive and reprehensible were in violation of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

 In the letter, a copy of which was made available to The Guardian, Njoku stated that he couldn’t fold his hands to allow this primitive and act of barbarism allegedly perpetrated on the order of the governor against the widows to go unchallenged.

  He, therefore, urged Amnesty International to investigate the matter and give appropriate redress to the victims to avoid a repeat of this act of impunity.

  It would be recalled that scores of the widows were brutalized and flogged when they gathered at the Okigwe Road Roundabout, Owerri under the aegis of Association of Widows to protest alleged maligning by agents of the state government of the Minister of State for Education, Prof (Mrs.) Viola Onwuliri, who is also a widow.

  In the ensuing melee, a cameraman from the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Mr. Etuk Eric, was also beaten and his camera seized while five of them were reportedly injured and rushed to the Federal Medical Centre  (FMC), Owerri for medical attention.

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