ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) and Women Aid Collective (WACOL) as well as other women groups in Nigeria have condemned in its entirety the heartbreaking incident of assault and brutality against a young female Police officer, perpetrated by one Professor Zainab Duke Abiola, who is one of the wives of Late MKO Abiola and ironically, a Lawyer and Human Right Activist, yesterday in her home in Abuja.
The group made this known earlier today at a Press Conference held in Abuja, as matter of urgency over the sad incidence and called on relevant authorities to step into the matter to ensure speedy justice is served.
According to the Press Statement issued at the Press Conference:
“The recent news outbreak of the alleged barbaric and inhuman assault of a young police orderly by name Inspector Teju Moses, serving with the Nigeria Police and attached to one Prof. Zainab Abiola, who doubles as a legal practitioner and human rights activist, is to say the least most unethical, unconscionable, degrading and inhuman treatment.
“The reported ugly and nefarious act of brutality is despicable and condemnable without equivocation. And to have been perpetrated by supposed civil society actor makes it far more reprehensible and exposes both the legal profession, the academia and the human right family to odium and embarrassment, considering the peculiar background of the suspect, Prof Zainab as a supposed trained and commissioned defender of human rights in the society.
“Prof. Zainab, was allegedly reported to have assaulted her police orderly on Tuesday, 20th day of September 2022, at her residence in Garki, Abuja, following refusal by her said orderly to carry out menial and domestic chores at her residence. The trending and viral audio clip available all over the social media showed the orderly Inspector Teju Moses bleeding profusely on her face, and which the media reported to crystalize “overwhelming evidence of culpability on the part of Zainab”. It was later reported that the said Prof. Zainab has been arrested together with her housemaid, Rebecca Enechido, while certain domestic servant and cohorts in commission of the alleged unlawful act remains at large.
“While the position of our criminal jurisprudence as it regulates both the investigation and prosecution of the instant case remains sacrosanct, in upholding the presumption of innocence in favour of the culprits, we must acknowledge the efforts of the Nigeria Police in arresting the suspects, and hope that the matter will be thoroughly investigated to establish the culpability of the suspects and prosecution therefore to ensure full accountability to such impunity.
While addressing the media at the briefing, Country Director ANN, Ene Obi commended the swift action of Inspector General of Police in getting the perpetrator of such act arrested with immediate effect.
In her words: “ActionAid Nigeria applauds the Inspector General of Police for acting promptly in responding to right violations and her immediate arrest. Thiswill serve as a deterrent to all those abusing the rights of both male and female officers attached to them, that the eyes of the law are very active, and justice will be served.”
She further added that ActionAid stands firmly against all forms of violence against women in the workplace, and we condemn in strong terms, the use of violence irrespective of any provocation by any gender as there are alternatives to resolving disagreements.
Obi however, concluded by urging the Inspector General of Police to:
- Review, as a matter of urgency, the welfare of the officers assigned on special duties as well as other police officers to avert future occurrences.
- State in clear terms the roles as Orderlies and Special Duty officers assigned to private citizens including Celebrities and High-Net worth Executives.
- Set up a panel to conduct a survey or assessment on how Officers assigned to private citizens are being treated. It is important to hear feedbacks from these Officers to aid decision making.
- Ensure the Nigerian Police Force support the development and implementation of workplace policy with special reference to the recent ILOC190 that seeks to address GBV at the workplace. This will ensure that the rights of all persons within the workplace are promoted and protected in Nigeria