By Evelyn Usman
POLICEMEN at Zone 9 Umuahia, Abia State have begun an investigation into the mob attack on a woman in Amuda community, in Umunneochi Local Council of Abia State, over a claim that her face appeared in a herbalist’s mirror as the killer of a native of the community, last month.
The victim, Okoma Eucharia, a political woman leader, in Amuda, alleged that the women were instigated by a federal lawmaker, who is going for a fourth term in the National Assembly.
Eyewitnesses said she was stripped naked and dragged around several communities by some women in the community and was on the verge of being set ablaze when one of the community leaders intervened.
How I escaped death—Victim
Narrating how she narrowly escaped death, Eucharia, who spoke with Vanguard, said: “Trouble started after the governor visited Amuda community on April 3, 2018, and gave women a token in appreciation of the warm welcome we gave him. As I was sharing the token (bags of rice) among the women, a female federal lawmaker (name withheld) came and demanded to know where the largesse came from and why I must be the one sharing it.
“She threatened to deal with me and also use a member of the Amuda Women Town Development Union against me, to ensure I either die or leave Umunneochi.
“Before I knew what was happening, they said I was responsible for the death of Esther Onyeagba, who died on Good Friday in Calabar, Cross River State. They said my face appeared in a herbalist’s mirror as the killer.
“The women came to my shop at Ejifeji, where I am popularly known as NICON nuku, damaged things there, went to my house, destroyed my property and took some of my money away. They demanded that I must come out and dance around the village as custom demands.
“When I showed up, they started beating me, stripped me and took me round different communities. They put a tyre on my neck, poured kerosene on me. But for one Chinedu, who rescued me from them, I would have been set ablaze for an offence I knew nothing about. As I speak, I have gone into hiding.
My crime was that I am supporting the state governor, while they and the lawmaker are in support of another governorship aspirant. I am crying out to law-abiding Nigerians and the law enforcement agency to come to my aid.”
Lawmaker has nothing to do with the matter
However, a member of Amuda Women Town Development Union, Roseline Eke, in a telephone conversation, said the lawmaker had nothing to do with the matter, pointing out that her name was not even listed among those indicted by Eucharia in her petition to the Police at Zone 9.
Eke said the indictment of the legislator was a mere ploy by some miscreants to tarnish the legislator’s name.
Explaining what she said was the true position of what happened, Eke said: “As I am talking to you, those Amuda women are already in court because they were arrested over a frivolous petition. The incident of checking in the mirror never happened here in Abia.
‘’Eucharia is a member of Amuda Women Town Developmental Union and she is a neighbour to the deceased. The deceased widower called members of the union that Eucharia threatened that she would finish his family and that one month after the threat, his wife died.”
She stated also that Eucharia was only instructed by the women to join them to dance around the villages, to prove her innocence in the allegation, after which she left, adding that she was not stripped naked nor was kerosene poured on her.
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Zone 9, Janet Eguchukwu, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, confirmed that the matter was being investigated. She disclosed that some women were arrested in connection with the matter but were later released to the community leader of Amuda.