A child and gender rights advocate and leader of the Coalition of Gender-Based Violence Responders, Lemmy Ughegbe, has filed a formal complaint against the Deputy Commissioner of Police in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Fom Pam Joseph, over an alleged threat to his life and family.
The activist in the petition filed at the National Human Rights Commission warned that should anything happen to him or any member of his family, Nigerians should hold Joseph responsible.
According to him, the DCP was after him for leading a coalition to unravel the culprits behind the rape and death of Keren Akpagher, a 14-year-old boarding house student of the Premier Academy, Lugbe.
The NHRC assigned two lawyers to him to accompany him to honour the letter of invitation signed by DCP Fom Pam Joseph, with Ref. No 3000/FCT/X/D9/ VoL 62/38, and dated July 8, 2021.
Keren, who was said to have been raped and a condom left inside her uterus, died on June 22, 2021.
Ughegbe said the coalition was critical of Joseph’s role in investigating the victim’s death following his alleged refusal to release the medical report of her death to the police-appointed pathologist at the Maitama General Hospital, Dr Desmond Okonkwo, despite being requested as a pre-condition to conducting the autopsy in line with global best practices.
The reported refusal was said to have led to the stalling of the autopsy, which was scheduled for Saturday, July 3, 2021.
Consequently, Ughegbe and the CSOs issued a statement condemning the action and describing it as “reprehensible and raises suspicion as to his motive.”
Barely 24 hours to a planned rally by the coalition in Abuja to seek justice for Keren, the DCP sent policemen to arrest the activist.
He said when they did not find him, the policemen left a letter signed by DCP Fom Pam Joseph, inviting him to the FCT Command for questioning on the claim that he was inciting public disturbance with regards to the rape saga.
During the #Justice4Keren rally at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, Ughegbe said the coalition had lost confidence in the FCT Police Command “as a result of their compromising postures.”
He called on the Inspector-General of Police to transfer the case to the Force Gender Office.
The activist said, “The letter they sent to me inviting me to the police, they wrote my name wrongly and they addressed it to Babylove School in Lugbe. I am not addressing you or the police in the capacity of Babylove. All the statements I have issued on behalf of the coalition were at the instance of Men Against Rape Foundation and they know where to find me.
“The fact that they have gone to my school and my house is clearly to intimidate me and my family and tell us that we are not safe if I continue to seek justice for Keren since they know where to find me.
“And as I talk to you, strange fellows are all around our school and home environment.
“We feel unsafe and if anything happens to me or any member of my family, please hold the Deputy Commissioner of Police, FCT, Fom Pam Joseph, responsible. But let me assure him that this movement is beyond me and cannot be silenced; we must seek justice for Keren and we are determined to do so.”