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How Ikpeazu’s wife rescued widow attacked for witchcraft

- August 30, 2022

Following a viral video showing some residents of Umueghu in Amaegbuato autonomous community in the Nkpa Bende Local Government Area of Abia State flogging a widow, Mrs Amarachi Okechi, for allegedly being a witch, the wife of the state governor, Nkechi Ikpeazu Monday came to her rescue.

Okechi, the woman who was repeatedly flogged, violently abused and held hostage for several days, was rescued and taken to an undisclosed public hospital for treatment this afternoon.

The youths in the community were seen taking their turns to flog Mrs. Okechi who was allegedly accused of being a witch by a relative, an incident that had gathered national condemnation.

According to the Chief Press Secretary to the Wife of the Governor of Abia State, Mr Chika Ojiegbe, the First lady is particularly thankful to the member representing Bende South, Emmanuel Ndubuisi, the Bende LGA Chairman and his wife Mrs Leticia Onwuchekwa, as well as the traditional ruler of the area, for the role in successfully extricating the woman from the volatile area.”

He further stated, “When the First Lady heard about it last night, she immediately swung into action to rescue the woman.

“Several stakeholders were involved in securing the woman alive which was the first action that needed to be taken. This has been done. Now, the next stage will be to address the issues surrounding the matter. The law enforcement agencies have been duly notified and have commenced appropriate investigations.”

“The allegations of witchcraft are strange to laws of the land. What is known to law is that no one can take laws into their hands to execute jungle justice. The law will take its course. The case will be closely monitored.

Meanwhile, the First Lady says she will foot the hospital bills of the woman as treatment has commenced in earnest at a hospital she was taken to.

A team from the Gender-Based Violence Resource Centre, Office of the Wife of Governor in Umuahia, who was part of the rescue, were also monitoring her health.

He said, “In Abia, we have a robust mechanism for responding to cases of gender-based violence put in place by the First Lady, no matter how severe a case, it is treated individually according to its circumstances.”

“Incidences like this are not welcome in Abia. Mrs Ikpeazu has done so much in this regard. She was able to get the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law passed and effectively functional in Abia State.

“Mrs Ikpeazu will continue to work to prevent and mitigate such violence against humans and to sensitise the people against such traditionally harmful acts, even in rural communities”

A video of the incident posted on social media showed the widow sitting on the floor with her hands tied behind her. Her legs were also bound with rope.

The widow, who wore a gown and a light blue hair tie was flogged by young men while scores of people in the crowd jeered at her.

Even when the woman was begging and telling them she is innocent, they tied her hands to her back, tied her two legs, flogged and filmed her.

Her children it was said, had reached out to a non-governmental organisation, Behind Bars, who had decided to take the matter up at all cost.

The Abia State Police Command has also confirmed the incident.

The command’s Spokesman, Geoffrey Ogbonna, said, “For now, what is important is the rescue of the woman and she is being treated.”

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