Mrs Loveth Odah, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ebonyi Command.
One Mr Felix Mbam from Ekoli-Edda in Afikpo South local government area of Ebonyi has been allegedly given a 12 goat fine by his kinsmen for reporting an attack on him to the police.
Mbam, in an interview with newsmen on Thursday in Abakaliki said that the fine was slammed on him by the community for reporting to the police an assault meted to him by suspected political thugs working for a prominent politician in the area.
Mrs Loveth Odah, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ebonyi Command could not immediately confirm the incident because efforts made to speak with her on the incident failed.
However, a source at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Ebonyi Command where the matter was incidented who pleaded anonymity confirmed the matter adding that a preliminary investigation has commenced.
Our correspondents reports that the political thugs are said to be members of a political group called ‘Morekanbedone’ which is owned and financed by the said politician from Afikpo South LGA.
Mbam had earlier reported to the police a recent attack on him which left him half dead by the political thugs.
The victim, popularly known by his facebook name, ‘Ekoli Edda’ was recently beaten to coma by the morekanbedone thugs for allegedly making an ‘insulting’ facebook comments against their leader.
Mbam, who was determined to obtain justice had again taken the matter to police after spending two weeks in the hospital receiving treatment leading to the arrest of some of the suspects.
The suspects were however later released after one week pending the resumption of courts activities in the state.
The victim said that he was fined 12 goats or its equivalent of #120, 000 by the community for reporting the incident to the police for violation of the tradition of the community.
A source from the community who pleaded not to be mentioned for fear of attack corroborated the statement.
He said that the community which sensed that the victim was unwilling to pay the fine, mobilised youths working on the instruction of the politician and stormed Mbam’s father’s compound and slaughtered 12 goats.
He however denied violating any tradition of the community, saying there was no such tradition that forbade members of the community from reporting attacks against them to the police.
” I didn’t commit any offence, neither did I violate any tradition or custom of Ekoli-Edda.
“It is my right to report an assault on me to the police; or is it better that I take the laws into my hands by retaliating my attack?
” I have told the police to ask my assailants to bring a screenshot of the alleged facebook posts or comments where I insulted them or their sponsors.
“They said I must pay for the 12 goats that they killed when they went to my village at Ugwuelu; but I will not pay because I did not commit any offence,.
“I want the whole world to hear and know the level of injustice that I have been subjected to and also to use the opportunity to appeal to relevant authorities and human rights organizations to come to my rescue,” Mbam said.
Efforts to speak Dr Uka Mba, President of Ekoli-Edda town union, on the matter proved abortive as he failed to pick several calls nor reply text messages sent to him.