Earlier this morning, I blogged that Uzoamaka Favour Chukwu, the 15-year-old old girl who was stripped naked and beaten in by some men in Ebonyi State, will be appearing this morning on AIT’s Kaakaki programme.
I watched the programme and will briefly summarize how it went.
The girl, Amaka came to the show with Hon. Linus Abaa Okorie, a member of the House of Representatives representing her constitutency. Hon. Okorie is also the man who exposed the injustice on the teenager to the public and is fighting for the perpetrators to be executed. God bless him.
Amaka was also joined by an online publisher from her community, Mr. Onu Nicholas who said he became interested in investigating her story because it happened in his community.
Throughout the programme, Amaka had her back turned to the audience because she is still a minor.
How Honourable Okorie Became Involved
The presenters asked Hon. Okorie how he became involved in Amaka’s case. He said he saw the viral video like everyone else, but was confused him was why a father would mete out such a disturbing method of discipline on his own daughter to the extent of giving people permission to post the video online. He said on further inquiry, he discovered the said man in the video wasn’t Amaka’s father but a man of authority who had decided to take the law into his hands. Okorie said his eyes filled with tears when the truth behind the viral video dawned on him. Driven with anger at the maltreatment meted on her, he decided to seek justice for Amaka.
Hon. Linus Abaa Okorie
How Onu Nicholas Became Involved
Onu Nicholas an online publisher, was one of the first to report the true story behind Amaka’s torture. Nicholas said someone first drew his attention to the viral story. When he realised the horrific incident happened in his own community he took a special interest in digging deeper. Like Okorie, Nicholas wondered why a father would go to such extreme to discipline his own daughter. He felt something didn’t add up. When he finally discovered the truth, he felt it was his duty to report the truth.
Amaka said she had gone visiting her friends whom she was to accompany to go and work at the farm, when someone alerted her that policemen had arrested a few of her friends in another location. This prompted her to go into hiding with the rest of her friends who had not been arrested.
Later on another day she was caught off guard when the police raided her hiding place while she was asleep. She was then arrested and brought into the house of the coordinator of the Ohaozara Local Government Development Council, Ogbonnaya Ene Odi.
Amaka said Odi asked her how many men she had slept with in the community and she replied that she has never slept with anybody. Odi then told her she wasn’t serious and ordered her to be stripped naked and beaten until she confesses the truth. The teenage girl said she was beaten with rubber wires after which the men bought sachets of alcoholic gin and poured it on her raw flesh exposed by the whipping.
Just when they wanted to pour ground pepper in her eyes, she was forced to name two men living in the community. The thugs then stormed the men’s shops and demanded they pay some money. The first man she named paid them an undisclosed sum, but the second man couldn’t pay the amount they wanted. So they carted away some crates of lager beer and a bottle of gin from the second man’s shop.
Nicholas, Amaka & Okorie being interviewed
At that point, the female presenter asked her where her elder sister (the one photographed with her earlier) was at the time and if she was living with an older relative. Amaka said she lived with her aunt (late mother’s sister).
The presenter also asked her why she named those particular men as her sexual partners. She was quiet for a while. Then the presenter prompted her by asking if she named them randomly because she was scared, which she responded the affirmative.
The truth is, this story keeps getting messier and messier. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way trying to judge Amaka. In fact, I feel deep compassion for her plight. I also do not condone what those wicked men did to her.
What I deduced from Amaka’s narration is that she actually was involved in some sort of sexual dealings with some men in the community, possibly because of hardship as an orphan. The reason I’m saying this is because firstly, when someone told her police was arresting some of her friends, her first reaction was to run into hiding. Why?
Secondly, why did specifically name those two men who were later extorted by the Coordinator and his thugs? Why did the first man willingly pay the sum that was ‘levied’ on him without any form of protest or resistance?
The Coordinator and his men were simply capitalising on a bad situation where they felt slighted that such operations were happening behind their noses without them getting any cut.
I’m glad a good Samaritan has awarded Amaka a scholarship up to university level and I’m sure other well-meaning Nigerians will also come to her aid to enable live a decent life from now on.