A Warri-based human rights activist, Mr Casely Omo-Irabor, has decried the alleged assault of a widow and her two daughters by policemen over quarrel with their tenant on house rent.
Omo-Irabor, also a lawyer and Chairman, National Human Right Defenders Organisation, spoke on Monday in Warri.
He was reacting to the alleged assault of a widow and two of her children in Effurun by policemen in Ekpan Division, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta.
The victims: Mrs Lucy Okoro (widow), Mercy Okoro, daughter and her younger sister, were allegedly manhandled on Jan. 10 over house rent.
Omo-Irabor said: “We got a distressed call that a widow was being manhandled over a disagreement between her and a tenant.
“We sent two of our lawyers to find out, and we discovered that the policemen allegedly naked the first daughter of the widow.
“Our lawyers pleaded, but they could not listen to them.
“I called the DPO and he said because I am involved, he will release the widow, but detain the two girls.
“I inquired for their offences from the DPO, he told me the victims locked their gate against a tenant, Mr Andrew Obas, who they said was owing four months rent.”
The right activist, therefore, called for respect of right of an individual and the need to observe the rule of law.
“I am not interested in ruining anybody’s career, but we must send a good message.
“We are in a democratic government. People should learn to observe the rule of law.
“The rights of an individual must be held sacrosanct,” the activist said.
However, SP Asanayin Ibok, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Ekpan, told newsmen that the allegations were not true.
According to him, the widow and her daughters locked the gate against their tenant and such act could cause problems between a landlord and tenant.
“I was not around when the incident occurred, let alone stripping the girl naked,” Ibok said.
Also reacting, the Delta Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, said: “It was not even the DPO, because when it happened, Ibok was not there.”