Man caught bullying widow to be prosecuted in Imo

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The Imo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare is putting every necessary thing in place to arraign Chinagorom Ukaegbu in court for assaulting and inflicting bodily harm on a widow.

Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare Nkechinyere Ugwu said Ukaegbu will be brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others that may engage in similar acts.

She stated this while addressing journalists in her office at the State Secretariat in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

She said she was moved by what she saw in a video that went viral on social media, where the man was seen beating and cutting the widow with a knife.

She informed that the incident attracted the attention of the first lady of the state, Chioma Uzodinma, who mandated the ministry to ensure that the matter sees the light of day.

“When the governor’s wife, Mrs. Chioma Uzodinma, saw the video, she asked the ministry to find the facts behind the matter. When I, together with my team, visited Umuawada in Ezenihitte Mbaise Local Government Area, Imo State, it was discovered that the case, which happened last August, was not properly dispensed with,” she said.

The commissioner further explained that upon investigation, it was learnt that the man in question was arrested by the police following the incident but was later released without proper arraignment after six weeks in police custody and that after his release, he went back and started threatening the widow and her son, which prompted his rearrest for the proper judicial process to be followed.

“We understand that the case of victimisation, attempted murder, beating and psychological trauma did not go through the proper judicial process; the government insisted that the right process be followed,” she said.

She informed that the ministry is not resting on its oars in addressing the issue of gender-based violence, rape, harmful widowhood practices and intimidation of weak folk. She maintained that the ministry is not only focusing on women alone but also on protecting every gender whenever the issue of domestic violence arises.

Ugwu insisted that the ministry would use the case of Ukaegbu to set an example for others.

She commended the first lady of the state for her swift response in the matter and also appreciated the effort of the media, police and other relevant agencies for their cooperation in rearresting the man.

Lending her voice to the matter, Mrs Mirian Ogbu, who is in charge of legal matters in the ministry, said the case is coming up on July 17 at Ahiazu Mbaise Magistrate Court. She avowed that the ministry was legally prepared to pursue the matter to a logical end.

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