Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Raped, eyes plucked by ritualists, woman cries for help

The sad look on the faces of sympathisers and newsmen who had gathered in the female surgical ward of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital told it all.

Some of them could not control their emotions as they rained curses on the three heartless men who raped and removed the eyes of a young woman in  Lukshi Village of Dass Local Government Area of Bauchi State. They could not help but wondered what could have prompted anyone to sexually abuse the woman and also deprive her of sight.

Languishing in pain on her hospital bed, the victim, Zainab Mohammed struggled to come to terms with this pathetic reality as she kept asking God why life has treated her so unfairly, especially as she may never see again.

Narrating her ordeal to newsmen, the 32- year-old mother of four said on that fateful day, she was returning home after attending a turban ceremony when she was attacked by three men inside a bush.

According to her: “After attending a turbaning ceremony in Lukshi, a village in Dass Local Government, I started to head home to meet my family as there was nobody to cook for them. When I reached a particular area close to a bush, I saw three men looking at me as I approached them.

“One of them approached me and said that he wanted to have sexual intercourse with me and that he was willing to pay for it, but I objected because I am a married woman. When they saw that I was not willing to cooperate with them, they pushed me to the ground and dragged me inside the bush and raped me, one after the other.

“After raping me, one of them brought out a knife, stabbed and plucked out my right eye with it, while the other two  held me tightly to the ground. He also tried to removed the left eye,but he could not. But the eye ended up being damaged. After doing this, they left me in my pool of blood and fled”.

Zainab called on the state government and well-meaning Nigerians to assist her financially as her husband is not capable of taking care of all the medical expenses.

The victim’s husband, Mohammed Usman, who is still traumatized over the predicament of his wife told Vanguard Metro, VM, the situation has distabilized his family.

Giving account of how he received the bad news, he said:  “I waited for my wife to return from the ceremony she attended in a nearby village,but she did not show up . When it was getting dark, I began to get worried and wanted to go and look for her.

Suddenly, some of my neighbours ran to my house to inform me that my wife was attacked while returning from the ceremony. What broke my heart was that the attackers did not only rape her, but also blinded her”.

He called on the state government to assist him , saying that he was a poor man and cannot shoulder the financial responsibilities of his wife’s medical treatment.

The state Police Public Relation Officer, DSP Haruna Mohammed confirmed the arrest of  the three suspects in connection with the incident. DSP Mohammed gave the names of the suspects as Sabo Rabo  of Durr Katanga Village, Bitrus Yakubu of Dado Village and Mohammed Bamigboye of Durr Katanga Village. According to him: “The three suspects that were responsible for raping and removing the eyes of a young lady while she was returning from a ceremony were arrested following some useful information given to the police by some residents in the area”.

While saying that the suspects confessed to the crime and will be charged to court, he urged residents in the state to be conscious of their environment and report any suspicious character to the police when the need arises.

In his own confession, one of the suspects ,Bitrus Yakubu, a 45- year-old man, informed that they were instructed by one native doctor called Galambi to pluck out the eyes of a woman for a reward of N1million after the operation.

He said: “One native doctor, Galambi, told me and my colleagues to get him the eyes of a woman. I don’t know what he intends to do with the eyes, but he promised to give us N1 million after the operation. We could not resist the offer because of poverty and the desire to become rich people like our friends”.

Bitrus also revealed that it was Sabo Rabo and Mohammed Bamigboye who raped the woman and removed her eyes,adding that it was actually his first time of committing a crime like that.

In his confession,the native doctor, Galambi denied  sending the suspects to remove the eyes of the woman,but admitted receiving the eyes from them. “The men approached me to prepare some charms for them because they wanted protection; so I told them to get the eyes of a woman, which they agreed to bring.

Another purpose of the charm is to help them to disappear whenever they want to. I don’t know whose eyes they removed or how they got it,my own work is to prepare the charms for them,” he said.

He said he never promised to give them the sum of N1 million as alleged by the three suspects, adding that as a native doctor what he demanded from his clients was not strange.

The Head of Ophthalmology Department of ATBU, Dr .Mohammed Mahdi Abdull who operated  on Zainab told VM that: “When she was taken to the theatre for surgical operation, we discovered  lacerations on the lid of the right eye which was swollen and the eyeball was already ruptured, but on the left eye, there was no eyeball because it was completely damaged”.

The doctor expressed optimism that Zainab may be able to see with her right eye after operating and repairing the globe.


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