The Lagos State Assembly handed over the family of Mr. Freeman Agomah to the Office of the Public Defender today in the latest development in the Ejigbo pepper sodomy, torture and murder case.
The Lagos State Assembly told the family they would no longer live at their residence but live far away from the area to help them overcome the trauma. Mr. Agomah and his wife were given N500,000.
Mr. Agomah’s wife and two daughters were tortured and sodomized by a gang of men in Ejigbo, allegedly last February. One of the daughter’s Juliana died as a result of her injuries two months later.
A video of the horrific incident went viral on the internet leading to public outrage and a demand for a full investigation. The Lagos State Assembly held a public hearing this month. A criminal gang has since been arrested accused of the torture, extorting money from Mr. Agomah, and banishing the family from their residence in Ejigbo. The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar had earlier directed federal detectives in Lagos to take over the case from the Lagos command.
At the Assembly public hearing a reward of N1.25million was offered for any information leading to an arrest of the perpetrators, and information about the family. A woman who contacted Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, President of Women Arise through her Facebook page told her of the whereabouts of the family, was rewarded N500, 000. An elderly Ejigbo man whom gave information that led to the arrest of the gang was rewarded with N250,000.
Mr. Agomah’s daughter, a teenager also sodomized by the vigilante gang gave testimony today. She was 12 years old when the incident happened. The family had moved her to Ilorin, Kwara State to help her forget the incident, and continue her schooling.
During her testimony, she said she was sodomized with pepper after the gang had finished with her stepsister, Juliana. She gave names of the gang members saying she knew them all, and that one of them had asked her out before but she had turned him down.
She said he made mockery and fun of her exposed parts during the torture, quoting him saying, “You rejected my love advances and now I hope you can see that I have it by other chance.”
Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, President of Women Arise told Saharareproters, only now could she relax since seeing the horrible video, “I could not sleep, I could not feed well and I did not actually feel we were in a festive period because I was totally devastated looking at how a fellow woman was being dehumanized.”
“But now that the perpetrators have been apprehended and the family rehabilitated, although it’s sad that one of them is dead, if someone greets me my own Christmas and New Year greeting, I will answer. I could not answer it at the time when I saw the clip,” she said.
She called on the government to enact a law that criminalizes jungle justice. She added that fellow citizens could relate similar injustices to her through her Facebook page, facebook.com/jokeiodumakin so that collective actions could be taken on issues of human dignity and violation of rights.