Woman stripped naked, risks jungle justice over alleged murder
Policemen at Zone 9 command, Umuhia, Abia State, have begun investigation into the mob attack on a woman in Amuda community, Abia, over claims that her face appeared in a herbalist mirror as killer of a native of the community last month.
The victim, Okoma Eukeria Chimezie, a politician and woman leader, alleged that the women were instigated by a federal lawmaker. Eyewitnesses said she was stripped naked and dragged round several communities by some women in the community and was at the verge of being set ablaze when one of the community leaders intervened and stop the jungle justice.
Narrating how she narrowly escaped death, Eukeria said: “Trouble started after the governor visited Amuda on April 3, and gave women a token in appreciation of the warm welcome we gave him. As I was sharing the token (bags of rice) among the women, the female lawmaker (names withheld) came and demanded to know where the gifts came from and why I must be the one sharing it. She threatened to deal with me and also use a member of the Amuda Women Town Development Union against me, to ensure I either die or leave Umu Nneji.
“Before I knew it, they said I was responsible for the death of Esther Onyeagba, who died on Good Friday in Calabar, Cross River State. They said that my face appeared in a herbalist mirror as the killer. The women came to my shop at Ejifeji, damaged things there, went to my house destroyed my property, took some away and demanded that I must come out and dance round the village as custom demands.
“When I showed up, they started beating me, stripped me and took me round different communities. They put a tyre on my neck, poured kerosine on me, but for one Chinedu who rescued me from them, I would have been set ablaze for an offense I knew nothing about. As I speak, I have gone into hiding. I am crying out to meaningful Nigerians and law enforcement agents to come to my aid.”
However, a member of Amuda Women Town Development Union, Roseline Eke, in a telephone conversation, said the lawmaker had nothing to do in the matter, pointing out that her name was not even listed among those indicted by Chimezie in her petition to the police.
Explaining what she said was the true position of the matter, Eke said: “Eukeria is a member of Amuda Women Town Development Union and she is a neighbour to the deceased. The deceased widower called members of the union that Eukeria threatened that she would finish his family and that one month after the threat, his wife died. The kinsmen gathered and invited Eukeria to come and say her own part of the story. When she came, she said she was sorry for whatever happened. The kinsmen insisted she must explain what she was sorry for. They threatened to stop her from attending any gathering in the community for five years if she did not explain what she meant.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Zone 9, Janet Eguchukwu, confirmed that the matter was being investigated. She disclosed that some women were arrested in connection with the matter but were later released to the community leader. She stated that parties involved would meet with the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Hosea Karma, today, informing that the outcome of the meeting would determine the next step of the investigation.