Eight farmers were, yesterday, arraigned before a Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court for allegedly stripping a widow, one Mrs. Ann Adikwu, and parading her at a market square in Orokam, Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State.
The accused persons were charged with criminal conspiracy, assault on a woman with intent to outrage her modesty; exhibition of obscene pictures and theft punishable under Sections 97 (1), 269, 203 and 288 of the penal code.
According to the First Information Report, FIR, filed in the court by the prosecutor, Inspector George Nyev, the victim had written a letter of complaint to the Benue State Commissioner of Police on November 18, 2013.
He said: “In the letter, the victim stated that she was in her matrimonial home in the morning of September 18 mourning her late husband, when one Omanche Adikwu led his family members and some youths of Orokam village to attack her.
“The group forcefully stripped her naked and went ahead to arrest one Augustine Odoh and forced both of them to dance naked at the market square while photographs of the dance were taken by the accused persons.”
According to her, the group also carted away her clothes and jewellery valued at over N860,500.00 and cash totalling N190,000.
At the commencement of the hearing, the prosecuting officer told the court that the accused persons were arrested during police investigations, adding that the accused confessed to the crime during investigations.
He asked for a date for the commencement of hearing into the matter.
However, all the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the offence.
In his submission, counsel to the accused persons, Mr. Cletus Ujah, who did not oppose the application for a hearing, however, applied for the bail of his clients.