11 December 2012

Nigeria: Actress Alleges Assault By AEPB, SAPCL Officials

An Abuja-based actress, Dorothy Njemanze, Thursday alleged that she was assaulted by officials of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) in collaboration with Society Against Prostitution and Child Labour along Usuma Street, off Gana, Maitama Street, Abuja.

The actress, who is the president of Dorothy Njemanze Foundation, told journalists at an event to commemorate the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women that she was going about her business when the men attacked her in the middle of the night thinking she was a prostitute. She added that it was the second time she was assaulted by the same groups.

"My driver went to NNPC filling station to cue up and I went in to Tucano for a meeting and to sign a document and on my way out, I was assaulted by these officials. If not for the fuel queues I would have been in my house earlier, she said in tears.

"The fact that you have more armed robbers doesn't make all men armed robbers, so why should every woman be labelled a prostitute?

"The most terrible part is that they take you to a rehabilitation centre under suspicion of prostitution which is wrong and for the past two years, I have been trying to draw people's attention to the fact that what goes on is a random abduction and gross violation of women and I encourage everybody to join hands and let's stop all these," she said.

Reacting to the allegation, Head of AEPB's Information, Joe Ukairo, said Dorothy has never visited their office for discussion, dialogue or to be properly briefed on the board's mandate but chose to use various media platforms in a very antagonistic and unethical manner to incite the public and jeopardize the good intention of government.

"I personally think she is looking for cheap publicity and if she is trying to make an impact, she should go back to the drawing board. I don't think her approach is in the best interest of the society at large. I have read different versions of her story on the social media and I realize she is not sincere.

"The Board sees her approach as unethical, not well intended and inimical to the larger society and we cannot allow that. I admit we may have one or two bad eggs in the system or may need to fine tune some part of our operational strategies, all these can be worked on as no system is perfect," he said.

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