The victim during the torture.
ABAKALIKI – Leaders of Amasiri Community in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State have ordered a physical torture of a cleric and social critic from the community, Pastor Oko Chukwu Obeni, for allegedly making inciting posts against leaders of the community on Facebook.
The video of the incident which occurred last Thursday had gone viral on the social media, with some calling for the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators.
Obeni was alleged to have made some posts on his facebook perceived to be slanderous of some leaders of the community, which according to them, were capable of jeopardising existing peace in the area.
Consequently, he was said to have been summoned and tortured, in line with the tradition of the community.
It was gathered that he was tied hands back, robbed with gutter dirt; bathed with dirty water and given 36 strokes of the cane for the offence while his elder brother bought the remaining 18 strokes with N9, 500, in accordance with the tradition of the community.
It was further gathered that anybody that goes contrary to the rules and regulations of governing council of the community receives 50 strokes of the cane.
Obeni who is currently hospitalised at Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital (AE-FUTHA), was reported to have apologised to the community over his action.
Narrating his ordeal, Obeni said, “I was called by one Julius Nyerere that I was invited to Essa Chairman’s House. I got to the place and saw Essa Executive seated and all the members of Isioru. They were treating a case of somebody who fought them, so I waited till they finished the matter. They called me out. They forced me to lie down and face the ground. After, the Essa chairman Omezue Godwin Elekwa asked me to sit up and come closer.
He asked Amadi Julius Nyerere to brief them about me and he briefed them, telling them that I am posting something against leaders of our community on facebook.
“I am at the hospital, I can’t make use of my hands, I can’t hold something. The doctor that just came and examined me today told me to just pray that my present condition is not permanent,” he said.
Meanwhile, the leader of the community has officially given reason for their action, saying the victim desecrated the authority of the community by insulting the leaders through facebook.