By Angela Nwaeze
16 year old Charity Ekpa, from Ukwuagba, Ngbo community, Ohaukwu local government area of Ebonyi state, has been reportedly mutilated by a patent medicine dealer, Mrs. Onwe Oluchi who forcefully circumcised her.
Charity was dragged to the patent medicine dealer by her parents against her wish.
The trio were arrested by Ohaukwu police division while Charity was hospitalized.
Recall that the state Violence Against Persons Prohibition(VAPP) Law stipulates four years imprisonment with or without N200,000 option of fine against perpetrators of FGM if convicted.
Those arrested are; Mrs. Onwe Oluchi the patent medicine dealer, Mr. Agbo Ekpa, Charity’s father and her mother Mary.
They were arrested following a petition by the legal Department of the state branch of National Orientation Agency(NOA).
Head of the legal Department of the Agency, Barr. Theresa Ama, had petitioned the state Commissioner of Police Awosola Awotinde after receiving a report from a traditional ruler in Ohaukwu local government on the 16 year old girl who was mutilated.
The HOD said: “last week, we were called by a traditional ruler in Ohaukwu that some persons mutilated a child of 16 years.
“when we rushed, we met the persons but the police didn’t give us good response because they are not aware of it. But when we went back there and clarified them, the next day we went there and they were arrested.
“They are still in police custody for now. We arrested the parents and the cutter; she is a patent medicine dealer, she sells drugs and she cuts in her chemist.
“So, the parents took the 16 year old girl forcefully and mutilated her. It is against the VAAP law and the child right Act. You don’t need to force a child to be mutilated. If the child says no, you must respect her no. But they forced the girl, we even went and took the girl to the hospital for medical check up and the Doctor confirmed that the child was mutilated. And so, with that report, we went to the police and show them the report and the parent and the cutter were
Also, the state Director of the Agency, Dr. Emma Abah confirmed the development while addressing students of Urban Model Comprehensive Girls Secondary School, Ugwuachara, Ebonyi local government area of Ebonyi state during this year’s International Day of Zero Tolerance against FGM.
He further disclosed that two female students of Ebonyi state university are currently battling for survival at National Obstetrics Fistula Centre(NOFIC), Abakaliki following complications of FGM.
“two students of Ebonyi state University have already developed problems, we have taken them to UNICEF. They are being treated at National Obstetrics Fistula Centre(NOFIC), Abakaliki free of charge.
“We don’t allow the victims name to be mentioned, we protect them . Even when they are talking, we are interrogating them, we cover their faces. So, we have handed them over to the centre for treatment.
“They were mutilated when they were young and now the problem developed. The problem may not be immediate. Ten years after, the problem starts. If you know any FGM persons who have any complication, any problem, send them to us quickly. A stitch in time saves nine, report to us immediately.
“In Ukwuagba community, we took the victims for medical checks to the NOFIC, that has been done. The Commissioner of police has given order that the perpetrators and parents of the victims should be arrested.