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Group writes Yahaya Bello, calls for suspension of Kogi Commissioner over alleged assault

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A group of over 50 human rights organisations has demanded the suspension of Abdulmumuni Danga, the Commissioner for Water Resources in Kogi State, over an alleged assault of a lady, Elizabeth Oyeniyi.

The group, under the aegis of Dorothy Njemanze Foundation, made this known in a letter addressed to Governor Yahaya Bello.

POLITICS NIGERIA gathered that Ms Oyeniyi was assaulted after posting a comment about the commissioner’s step-sister, who has been her friend for years.

A viral video of her showed the blistered wounds and bruises sustained after the attack.

In an interview with Premium Times, an online newspaper, Ms Oyeniyi said Mr Danga personally flogged her and said he could have killed her were it not for her young son who was with the mom.

She said the commissioner then stripped her while at least 15 men, who worked for him, watched. They suspected thugs videoed the nude woman as she was being whipped and humiliated.

After the attack, Ms Oyeniyi said Mr Danga drove her to a hotel close to the Kogi State House in Lokoja, the state capital, where he forcefully had sex with her three times overnight.

However, in their response, the human rights groups condemned the assault by the commissioner.”We, the undersigned organizations, appreciate the prompt response of Your Excellency to the pictures and video in circulation showing assault of Miss Elizabeth Oyeniyi in which she alleged that Abdulmumuni Danga, the Commissioner for Water Resources in Kogi State assaulted her on the 29th of March 2020.”

“We welcome the press statement expressing zero tolerance of the Kogi State government to
sexual assault and violence. We are also glad to hear that the incidents will be investigated by the appropriate authorities.”

“The allegations against the Commissioner are weighty and of such nature that when confirmed will be damning of the perpetrator, and so we call on your administration to ensure these allegations are thoroughly investigated by an impartial body to ensure justice is served,” the statement read in parts.

Speaking in Abuja, the Women’s Rights Activists led by Dorothy Njemanze of Dorothy Njemanze Foundation with support from Action Aid Nigeria and Global Affairs Canada said: “We are dismayed by the recent news of alleged physical and psychological violence perpetrated by the Kogi State Commissioner for Water Resources, Abdulmumuni Danga, against Elizabeth for criticizing him on Social Media.

While making its demands, the group highlighted the followings:

“We are calling on the Kogi state government to demonstrate its commitment to addressing gender-based violence and redeem itself now by 1. Immediately suspending Mr. Danga as a Commissioner until the investigation is completed, this will enable a level playing ground for investigation. 2. The perpetrator and accomplices of the assault on Elizabeth are identified and prosecuted in accordance with the law.
3. The life and full protection of the survivor, her family and other persons involved in the case, including their property is guaranteed.”

Meanwhile, the police in Kogi, when contacted on Friday, maintained that the woman had not filed a complaint and that she would have to return to the state where the alleged attack took place to report to the police.

Governor reacts

In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Kingsley Fanwo in Lokoja, Governor Yahaya Bello stated that it has ordered an investigation into the matter.”His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State is an avowed advocate of the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens, and especially within the boundaries of our dear State.”“Accordingly, the Governor has ordered an accelerated investigation into the matter and hereby assures both accusers and accused, as well as the general public, that the whole truth will be uncovered and justice served as appropriate.The Kogi State Government however reaffirmed its unalloyed commitment to the protection of everyone from all forms of oppression, and will not stand for violence against women or children under any form or guise.Nevertheless, Mr Danga refused to respond to calls and text messages put across by POLITICS NIGERIA on Friday.

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