HURIWA passes vote of no confidence on Kogi Govt over alleged rape by Commissioner

•Accuser Elizabeth Oyeniyi and accused Commissioner Abdulmuminu Danga

… seeks takeover of case by Justice Minister, IGP, NHRC

Fearing that the alleged sexual attacks and physical torture of a Kogi beauty queen, Miss Elizabeth Oyeniyi, by a serving Commissioner in the state, Abdulmuminu Danga, may be swept under the carpet, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has asked the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice; National Human Rights Commission (NHRC); the Inspector General of Police; and the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to take over the investigations and deliver efficacious justice.

HURIWA said also that the State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has not taken drastic measures to punish the Commissioner accused of kidnapping and raping a citizen only because she criticised him (the Governor) in the social media and expressed fears that having just come out from a tough and violence-prone elections in which he was controversially returned as the winner in an election widely presumed to have been manipulated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The rights group said the governor may not want to upset the apple cart as he may still be compensating his foot soldiers like the alleged rapist and Commissioner for helping to return him as elected in that bloody governorship contest. 

“Kogi State has just had a tumultuous election in which violence took centre stage with armed political thugs using violence to return the All Progressives Congress (APC) governor to power. It is alleged that most of the newly appointed commissioners may have worked as political thugs or those who procured disposable armed political thugs who manipulated that shameful election in which even the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, publicly admitted that armed political thugs were better armed than the regular police.

“It is usually the practice in most states that after elections those who helped to instal the governor are rewarded. Kogi is not an exception. So it may be practically impossible for the Governor of Kogi state to professionally supervise any independent investigation into the allegations of abduction, false imprisonment and alleged rape of a citizen,” the rights group said.

HURIWA revealed that although it learnt that Governor Bello has ordered accelerated investigation into the alleged battering and rape of the beauty queen by the Danga, the State Commissioner for Water Resources, it however said that it is not comfortable with this politically-tainted investigation ordered by the Governor. 

“This probe will end up in a cover up. The best bet is for the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice to step in and request the IGP, Mohammed Adamu, to investigate the allegations and for the Minister to personally file a matter of rape if the investigations reach a considered conclusion that indeed the beauty queen was raped by the Kogi Commissioner.

“The IGP and the Director-General of Department of States Services (DSS) should protect this victim of a high profile Kogi state official who has the capacity to harm the victim for daring to report him to the relevant authorities after she faced the ordeals of physical and psychological tortures.”

HURIWA recalled that the beauty queen, Miss Oyeniyi, had on March 29, 2020, made a post on her Facebook page about Danga not taking care of his sibling, who is her friend. It was gathered that the post did not go down well with Danga and he allegedly ordered his boys to look for Oyeniyi and beat her up. The victim told an Abuja human rights activist that after she was beaten by the boys, she was ordered to strip naked and apologise to the Commissioner thereafter. 

The 23-year-old beauty queen, HURIWA noted, alleged that the Commissioner took her to a hotel and raped her. She said she first beaten up by the Commissioner and his boys; asked to strip naked with her friend and a video shot and were made to apologize under duress to him and his fans. She was later taken to a hotel and the Commissioner forcefully had sex with her all through the night.

“I have been living in fear of what they might do to me, because they threatened to pour acid on me and take my life. The Commissioner is threatening me to come out and drop the case. I want justice to be done because he treated me like an animal and said nobody would fight for me,” the beauty queen reportedly said.

HURIWA has therefore asked the Federal Government not to stand by and watch this victim of alleged rape further threatened by the Commissioner saying that the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari ought to take interest in this matter by ensuring that the Minister of Women Affairs steps in and provide technical support for the beauty queen who is reportedly afraid for her life. 

HURIWA said also that: “What a good state government would have done is to have ordered the police to arrest the Commissioner like the police normally do to other accused persons and then the state government clearly suspends indefinitely or sack the accused person pending the conclusion of the investigations which must be transparent and accountable. 

“It would seem that the Kogi State Governor is not willing to punish the accused for these serious allegations of kidnapping and rape of a citizen. This matter should therefore be taken over by the central government so as send a clear message to political office holders that they are not above the law and that sexual attacks against any citizen must never be tolerated.

“From all that has happened so far, the Kogi State Government looks set to cover up this matter. Nigerians from all walks of life must say no to this plot to cover up this hugely shameful crime of alleged rape,” the rights group noted.

Source: News Express

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