Protesters demand trial of alleged child torturers, reject Igweship recognition
Two separate protests rocked Anambra State yesterday.
Owners of Private Schools Association of Nigeria (OPSAN) and Onitsha Branch of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), yesterday, mobilised children from private schools in the six educational zones to call for the prosecution of 39-year-old Chinyere Raymond and 80-year-old Chidi Nwafor, who are still in detention for alleged torture of minors.
The Guardian gathered that the state police command arrested Raymond and Nwafor for allegedly confining three children – two boys and a girl – inside different rooms and subjected them to torture amid starvation.
Addressing the Commissioner of Police on the essence of the protest by children, the President of OPSAN, Dr. Uzochukwu Nwanonyuo, said almost two weeks after the arrest of the accused persons, concerned citizens and stakeholders had not heard anything concerning their prosecution.
Nwanonyuo pointed out that children from the six educational zones in the state were part of the protest march, in realisation that their own had been victimised, and that it could be their turn next time.
He vowed to resist the case being swept under the carpet, calling on the police not to delay dispensation of justice.
OPSAN appealed to the police to ensure that the victimised children were adequately cared for, assuring that there was already a move to give them scholarship up to the university level.
On his part, the Secretary of the Human Rights Committee of Onitsha NBA, Tony Iheanacho, said NBA’s involvement was to back the protest because “in Nigeria, anything goes and these children would not want the matter to die like that so that justice will take its course.”
He lamented that the three children were maltreated, starved and some of them (purportedly) pounded to death because there were traces of bloodstains on the wall and gutter in her compound.
“This confirmed the allegation that she was maltreating and allegedly killing children because flesh of little children was found there,” claimed Iheanacho.
Speaking on behalf of the children, Miss Vanessa Nkamuigbo, nine-year-old pupil of Shalom Solid School; Glory Udemba of Prosperity School, Onitsha; and Rose Ikechukwu, a 10-year-old pupil of Shalom Solid Foundation, Onitsha, defended the involvement of the children in the protest on the ground of solidarity.
Responding, the Commissioner of Police, Monday Kuryas, who spoke through the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), S.U. Akpan-Udom, appreciated the peaceful conduct of the protesters and assured them that the matter was still under investigation, while the culprits would be charged to court soon.
MEANWHILE, Ogbunka community is protesting the issuance of Certificate of Recognition to Igwe-elect, JohnMark Anyaoha, who succeeded the late Igwe Esiobu who died eleven years ago.
Spokesperson of the protesters, Uchenna Nnebe expressed dismay that the state government failed to follow the voice of the people in the choice of the traditional ruler, contending that they preferred Igwe-elect Forster Ihejiofor to Anyaoha, whom the state government has recognised.