A high court in Uyo, Awka Ibom State, has ordered a man and his wife to pay N4million for assaulting and striping a woman naked in public.
The man identified as Uduak Nseobot and his wife, Aniedi, are to pay additional N200,000 to the woman to cover the cost of litigation.
It was learnt that Nseobot sometimes in November 2018 abducted the victim, Iniubong Essien, in Uyo and drove her to Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of the state, about 27 minutes’ drive, where he and his wife assaulted and publicly stripped her.
They had reportedly accused her of stealing their money, which they claimed was “sprayed” on them at their wedding ceremony.
The victim had her body painted with charcoal and a rope tied around her waist while she was forced to dance naked before some community people.
The incident happened at the time Nseobot was a councillor in Ibiono Ibom Council, it was learnt.
Essien, who had been a close friend to Aniedi for about 10 years, denied stealing the money.
The judge, Edem Akpan, while delivering verdict on Thursday, said what Nseobot and his wife did to the woman was “totally condemnable”.
The judge said the man’s action was a typical disregard Nigerian politicians have for citizens’ rights.
The court said by their own affidavits, the man and his wife “admitted to committing the atrocities” and that they had no defence for what they did.
A Lagos-based lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, who had filed the fundamental rights enforcement suit on behalf of Ms Essien, told newsmen that his client had been vindicated by the judgment.
He said, “From the outset, the evidence was very compelling. What the former councillor did was quite outrageous. I think that is about one of the most grievous examples of human rights violations (in Nigeria).
“We are going to enforce the judgment. If they go on appeal, we will be waiting for them.”