An Akwa-Ibom State lawmaker, Uduak Nseobot has been dragged to the state’s High Court in Uyo for allegedly assaulting a married woman and forcing her to walk and dance naked in the public.
Uduak Nseobot, a councillor in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, is accused of publicly assaulting and humiliating Iniubong Essien.
According to Premium Times, Nseobot and his wife, Aniedi, were charged to court on July 11 by the Akwa Ibom state government for alleged kidnapping, assaulting, and publicly stripping the woman, Iniubong Essien, whom they had accused of stealing some naira notes which was ‘sprayed’ on them during their wedding ceremony.
Ms Essien, who has been a close friend to the councillor’s wife for about 10 years, denied stealing the money. She told the media outlet that she assisted the Nseobots in cooking and serving food to their wedding guests and that she was not even the person who helped the couple to pick money donated to them at the wedding.
The councillor and his wife, supported by their friends, were said to have abducted Ms Essien from her home in Uyo in the morning, around November last year, drove her to a village in Ibiono, about 27 kilometres. She was then taken to a village hall around 10 a.m.
“I was beaten and forced to walk stark naked in the village hall, they removed my dress, my bra, and my pant,” Ms Essien, who is over 40 years, told Premium Times.
“People were inside the village hall, I think he (the councillor) may have told them that he was bringing a thief for them to beat, so the whole place was filled with people.
“He was mixing charcoal with pepper to rub on my body, but he didn’t rub (it) on me. They tied a rope around my waist and said I must dance naked before the village people.”
Ms Essien said the councillors, his wife, and their friends used their mobile phones to take photos and videos of her, while she was naked and being beaten.
The incident, which was recently brought to public attention through Facebook, shocked the Akwa Ibom community on the social media site, with people calling on the state government to ensure justice was done in the case.
Akwa Ibom people in the Diaspora, led by an environmental activist in the U.S, Tom Mbeke-Ekanem, sent a petition to the Akwa Ibom governor, Udom Emmanuel, last month demanding justice for Ms Essien.
At the court, the Presiding judge Archibong Archibong withdrew his earlier application for a bench warrant against the councillor.
The counsel to the accused, Mfon Ben, informed the court he has filed an application challenging the validity of the charges against his client.
His request that the councillor should not take his plea until the court disposes of his objection was accepted by the judge, and the case adjourned to October 14 for the court to hear the argument on the preliminary objection.