How IKEDC partnered with NSCDC to maltreat a defenceless woman

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    By Precious Igbonwelundu
    A petty trader, Mrs. Ayodele Ediale, 35, has accused Ikeja Electric (IE) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) of unjust treatment but NSCDC denied the claim, saying the woman was never maltreated.
    Mrs. Ediale was paraded last month for allegedly stabbing an IE official, Stephen John Enyinna, during a disagreement at 6, Ayodola Street, Alimosho
    The woman, who said she was detained for four days and later charged to court without being given fair hearing, denied committing the offence.
    At the Public Advice Centre (PAC), Alausa, where she and her husband went to seek justice, she appealed to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to look into her matter.
    She claimed, she was severely beaten up by Enyinna, who also used his helmet to hit her on her stomach and other parts of her body for “being rude.”
    She said: “It is really sad how people who think they have power trample on others. At no point did I stab him. In fact, he was the one who slapped me and started beating me that I answered his boss rudely. I had to fight back when the beating was too much before neighbours saw what was happening and pulled him away.
    “What actually caused the problem was that they had disconnected light from my mother’s house about three weeks before January 16. They had presented a very high bill which my widowed mother and stepmother couldn’t pay.
    “The men from IE office in Alimosho are always coming in batches to harass and extort the women, who had pleaded to pay the exorbitant bill in instalments.
    “So, I was at my mother’s house that January 16 when two IE workers entered the compound. I was outside with my step sister but my mother was inside. When they came, they asked who disconnected the light and where the wire was?
    “This disgusted me and my stepsister. We replied that such questioning was rhetorical and Enyinna Stephen went wild saying we were being rude to his boss and instantly slapped me.
    “I was infuriated and held onto his clothes as my sister tried to calm me down. Stephen continued to abuse and assault me, he incessantly hit my breasts and other parts of my body with his helmet.
    “After the brawl and scuffle, neighbours came around to my rescue. They dragged him out and locked our gate. I felt abused and started throwing stones at him, as my mother and neighbour calmed me.
    “Within an hour, some NSCDC officers came to my place armed with guns. I was surprised to see them and even more shocked to see Enyinna bleeding. They dragged me to their office and detained me after I was asked to write a statement.
    “I was still wondering why I am the one being detained instead of the man who assaulted me, then it occurred to me that he might have slit his arm intentionally so that he can get away with his crime against me.
    “Then, on January 18, I was paraded before newsmen and called a thief. I even tried to cover my face but NSCDC operatives brushed my hands off and shouted at me.
    “I was maltreated and wondered what crime I committed. At this point, I was advised to start pleading with the Ikeja Electric’s counsel. And that’s when I started apologising for a crime I didn’t commit. I and my husband knelt down to apologise to Stephen (Enyinna) at the NSCDC headquarters in Alausa.”
    NSCDC spokesperson, Mary Kehinde-Bada said from pictures and witnesses, testimonies, Mrs. Ediale stabbed Enyinna with a broken bottle.
    She said: “It’s untrue that we perpetrated injustice against her. We are in partnership with the electricrity companies because we protect their installations. Normally, when they go out to the field, our men usually escort them.
    “But that day at Alimosho,  none of our operatives went with them. So, when the incident happened, the officials called for backup and that was how our people got there. From our investigation, the woman broke a bottle and stabbed the official with it. We have picture evidence and also have testimonies from witnesses. It is also not true that she was denied bail. She was granted administrative bail but didn’t meet her bail condition.”

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