Federation of International Women Lawyers, FIDA, in Rivers State has pledged to get justice for a middle-aged woman identified as Margaret Alex who was stripped naked on Monday 1st April 2019 at the popular Mile 3 market park for allegedly stealing.
Mrs Margaret Alex’s stripping was videoed and published on Facebook with the pictures trending online.
Mrs Alex has asked her accuser to show proof of what she stole that led to the barbaric manner in which she was dishonoured publicly on baseless allegations or face the law.
The mother of two whose wounds and scars are still obvious to all was wrongly accused of stealing at mile three market and stripped naked and her naked pictures uploaded on facebook.
She seeks justice.
Mrs Margaret Alex when contacted, said she went to mile three market that faithful day to buy items to restock her little table she used in trading at home and also buy provision for her family.
According to her, I was shocked as I was lifting things from a particular shop I remembered that my purse was not where I kept it. I immediately dropped the items and tried to re-adjust my things to locate my purse so as not to lose money in the market since Mile 3 was notorious for pickpockets. At that moment, one of the hoodlums accused me of stealing.
He started shouting thief! thief! Before I knew it people gathered me; before I know it they started beating me from every corner, asking me to bring it out. The next thing, one union man later identified as John striped me naked and they started filming my nakedness.
Before the other union people came and intervened in the matter, they searched my bags, asked the man who said I stole to show what I stole from him. He didn’t see anything.
I was not allowed to even speak or defend myself. I was beaten to stupor and even so weak to help myself. Later the union people came to tell me sorry and gave me my clothes to wear and go home just like that.
She told Silver News reporter that her naked pictures circulating on social media are tearing her family apart.
She said, since my husband saw the pictures, he is so worried; he has not eaten. He has gone to the union people to ask them why they have stripped his wife naked and they pleaded with him to let by-gone be by-gone but my naked pictures are still online and circulating.
I just want justice in this matter. Government should come and help me so that they can stop circulating my pictures online. Ask my husband here, I have never stolen his money not to talk of going to the market to steal where I was trying not to be a victim of pickpockets. I need justice, she added’’
Meanwhile, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has condemned the act of striping women naked in public places on trumped-up charges or for any offence.
The chairperson of FIDA, Anthonia Osademe, said Margaret’s matter has been reported to FIDA. She said that the women lawyers would take up the matter and pursue justice for Margaret.
She said last week it was in Anambra and this week it’s Port Harcourt. The way FIDA Anambra followed the matter is the same way we will follow up this matter so people would stop taking laws into their hands.
She called on the police to urgently conclude investigation on the Mile 3 incident and charge all suspects to court for prosecution.
However, the Civil Rights Council of Nigeria has joined to condemn the stripping of a married woman in the Mile 3 Market area in Rivers State.
The spokesperson of the Civil Rights Council, Prince Wiro, described the act as a barbaric and backward attitude of hoodlums at the Mile 3 Park in Diobu, Port Harcourt.
He said, in a sane society, you could never hear of such inhuman act where a mother will be stripped stark naked, filmed and uploaded on social media and is being shared all over the world for a crime the victim never committed.
Wiro explained that the civil rights council equally went to investigate the matter and discovered that the woman never committed the crime. They called on the police to investigate the matter.
He urged the police, haven arrested three of the suspects, to ensure that they are prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others who intends to carry out such barbaric acts in future.