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Nasarawa: Taraba govt seeks justice for assaulted indigene



The Taraba State Government at the weekend, sent a delegation to Nasarawa State to demand justice for Miss Blessing Mathias, a female indigene of the state who was allegedly assaulted by an Associate Professor in the Department of History and International Studies at the Federal University of Lafia, Fred Ekpa Ayokhai, and three of his children.

A video had gone viral on the Internet where Blessing was seen to have being assaulted by three men and a lady, which led to the arrest of Fred Ayokhai, Emmanuella Ayokhai, Bob Ayokhai and Saint-Dan Ayokhai, and their subsequent arraignment in court by the Nasarawa State Police Command.

The police also recovered a vehicle belonging to the Associate Professor which was allegedly used in conveying Blessing to a location along Kwandere road in Lafia, where she was allegedly assaulted.

Speaking to journalists at the weekend in Lafia, the Taraba State Commissioner of Women Affairs and Child Development, Bridget Twar, said they were in Nasarawa State to ensure that justice prevailed in the case of Miss Blessing Mathias who is an indigene of Taraba.

She said, “We are in Nasarawa State to see Blessing by ourselves to ensure that justice is prevailed over her circumstance.

“I am comfortable with the steps that the Nasarawa State has taken and I believe that justice will be given to her. I will go back home (Taraba) and report to the First Lady of our state so that they can continue with what they are doing. It is justice that we want. Nothing more, nothing less.”

On her part, the Nasarawa State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Aishatu Ibrahim, assured the Taraba delegation of justice for Miss Blessing.

She said, “I want to assure my colleague from Taraba State that the case will not be swept under the carpet. Nasarawa State will do everything within the armpit of the law to ensure that Blessing gets justice.”

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Also speaking, the Nasarawa State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Abdulkarim Kana, who was on hand to receive the delegation from Taraba State, explained that the matter has reached an advanced stage, adding that majority of the defendants had been arrested by the police.

“The police have arrested four suspects. Both Dr Fred and any other person that was there along with him committing the offence that we all saw on the social media.

“The police have concluded the preliminary stages of investigation and in order not to keep the suspects too long in the police custody, in compliance to the provisions of the constitution, the police ensured that the suspects were arraigned in time so that they can be remanded in prison pending the conclusion of the investigation and continuation of the case.”

But the victim’s brother, Franco Bako, while speaking with journalists, expressed doubt that Blessing was safe in the state, adding that he did not get the kind of assurance he wanted from the state government about her safety.

He said, “From the look of things, I think the Nasarawa State government is trying its best to see how they can fight for Blessing. 

“And my humble state, that is Taraba, I learnt that the governor is interested and the women affairs commissioner is here to fight for Blessing.

“Blessing’s safety is not yet guaranteed the way I expected it. But I also have my own ways of doing things which I will not disclose to the media.”

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