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‘My Ordeal In The Hands Of Naval Ratings’—Brutalised Woman

Posted by By Kazeem Ugbodaga on 2008/11/09 | Views: 2735 |

‘My Ordeal In The Hands Of Naval Ratings’—Brutalised Woman


Twenty-seven-year-old Uzoma Okere has narrated her ordeal in the hands of some Naval officers to governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state, saying she was manhandled by them.

Twenty-seven-year-old Uzoma Okere has narrated her ordeal in the hands of some Naval officers to governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state, saying she was manhandled by them.

Okere said the naval men, attached to Rear Admiral Olufemi Arogundade, Monday night, on Victoria Island, assaulted her and tore her clothes.

She said the officers had asked her to stop since their boss was on the same road. ”I tried to move my car to the left side of the road but before I knew what was happening, one of them came out of a car in the convoy of the naval officer and whipped me while I was still seated in my car.

“I came out and I held on to the whip. Four other ratings rushed at me, held my hands and tried to put a handcuff on me. “One of them tore my shirt. I tried to adjust it and get back into the car but they whipped me,” she narrated, adding that a man who tried to challenge them, was hit on the head with the butt of a gun.

“They dragged out the other ladies in my car, both of them were pregnant women and beat them up. “While all this was going on, they pulled me into the compound where the Rear Admiral had driven into and I was screaming for someone to call my dad. One of my colleagues got the phone and called my father,” she said.

Her father spoke with the Rear Admiral on phone and the Admiral told her that he knew her father at the Nigeria Military School.

“My father was his senior, I think my father was in class five while he was in year one. After that, the Rear Admiral said I could go and I said I can’t go with my shirt torn.

“He asked one of his guys to get me a shirt. As I was going out, I met a mob and they asked whether he apologised and I said no. They asked me to wait until he apologised.

“A couple of minutes later, he tried to drive out but the mob stopped him. He went back and his guys came out with whips and were ready to shoot anybody. They whipped some people who waited,” she added. Governor Fashola condemned the inhuman treatment of Okere by the naval men and assured her that justice would be done to the case.

“As a member of government, even though they (the naval officers) are not an agency of the state government, I will apologise to you. Those who exercise authority in the state, and have the responsibility of protecting you have actually turned against you.

“This matter has been brought to my attention by e-mails. At this moment, I can assure you that our democracy will protect you. You will get justice” he assured the lady.

The governor said he has summoned the Solicitor-General of the state and the head of the Office of the Public Defender (OPD). “They will meet you and hear your story in details and continue to advise you,” he said.

Fashola said the state government was ready to offer the lady free legal assistance, adding that he would make a representation to president Umaru Yar’Adua on the matter.

“I am sure that you will get justice. The wheel of justice may turn slowly but we will turn this one to go fast. I don’t think any act of provocation could have justified what I have seen but it remains to be heard from the other side what happened,” he said.

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