Umahi orders arrest of seven women over female genital mutilation
FOLLOWING the case of female genital mutilation of 11 teenage girls between the ages of seven and 12 in Okpuitumo in Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi Sate, Governor David Umahi has directed police to arrests and charge two women to court for allegedly carrying out female genital mutilation in the area.
Governor Umahi also directed that the parents of the girls, numbering about five, would also be arrested and charged to court for allegedly approving and presenting their daughters for circumcision; an act which violated the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law of the state.
Mr. Donatus Owo, the Chief Press Secretary to the wife of the state governor, Mrs. Rachael Umahi, who confirmed the arrest of the violators said that perpetrators would be punished according to the law.
“We have local government monitoring committees and the state monitoring committee and anybody that they arrest would be forwarded through this channel and we will now get lawyers and take them to court. As at this morning, those people have been arrested,” he said.
The traditional ruler of the community, Eze Stephen Ukpa, regretted that some of his subjects still engaged in the obnoxious cultural act despite a ban placed on same by the leadership of the community in June 19, 2017.
One of the suspects, Mrs. Margret (surname withheld), while fielding questions from newsmen, denied having knowledge about the ban placed on female genital mutilation in the community. She also denied knowing about the VAPP Law of the state.
However, the Personal Assistant to the Governor’s wife, Stephanie Ekumankama, faulted her claims. She said that proper sensitization had been carried out on the FGM ban; hence, alleged new strategy of carrying out the act under the cover of the night.