Mrs Amarachi Okechi, the woman who was repeatedly flogged, violently abused and held hostage for several days at Umueghu Amaegbuato community in Nkpa, Bende Local Government Area of Abia State has been rescued and taken to an undisclosed public hospital for treatment this afternoon.
A virally trending video and online news reports which broke over the weekend had shown youths in the community taking turns to flog Mrs. Okechi who was allegedly accused of “witchcraft” by a relative.
The incident has gathered national condemnation.
Meanwhile Chief Press Secretary to the Wife of the Governor of Abia State, Mr Chika Ojiegbe who made news of the woman’s release public said “the First lady Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu 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”.
“When the First Lady Nkechi Ikpeazu heard about it last night, she immediately swung into action to rescue the woman. 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.”
“Several stakeholders were involved in securing the woman alive which is 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 is picking up the hospital bills of the woman as treatment has commenced in earnest at the hospital.
Our team from the GBV Resource Centre in Umuahia who were part of the rescue are also monitoring her health. I will give you updates as soon as they happen” the statement concluded.