Family demands justice over FSARS’ assault on 98-year-old matriarch


By O’starEze

The family of Mrs Cecilia Okpalaku, a 98-year-old woman allegedly assaulted by operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) in the Anambra state command in Achina, Aguata local government area of Anambra state, has petitioned the inspector general of police, Mohammed Adamu for justice.

In the petition addressed throughthe state police commissioner, Mr John Abang,by their lawyer, Charles Asadu and Co, the family decried the alleged assault on their matriarch by the police officials over a matrimonial issue.

The petition letter read in part: “Information reaching us is that armed police men with AK47/rifles and are putting on black polos with the inscription FSARS in company of Mrs ChiemerieOkpalaku invaded the house and premises of our client and physically assaulted their aged mother, Mrs Cecilia Okpalaku of about 98 years old’’.

According to the petitioners, the reason behind the attack was that Mrs ChiemerieOkpalaku was an estranged wife of Emeka Okpalaku, son of the aged woman who lives abroad. Emeka, the petition claimed, had been into marital problems over alleged abortion of pregnancy by his wife.

“She was alleged to have aborted her pregnancy resulting to the separation from the matrimonial home and now relocated to her maiden home at Oka Village, Uga in the same Aguata Council Area. We gathered that it was aftermath of the matrimonial faceoff that prompted Chiemerie, in company of the police officers, to allegedly attack the aged woman in an effort to recover property she claimed belonged to her from her matrimonial home.

“They ransacked the entire household, damaged the doors of the rooms and went away with so many household properties belonging to our clients. In an effort to subdue our clients, the police used the butts of their AK47 rifles on the aged woman who, according to our clients, was now admitted in one of hospitals in Achina”, Asadu said.

The petition titled ‘’A Case of Conspiracy,House Breaking And Brutality’’, the petitioner called on the inspector general of police,Mohammed Adamu, to give the complaint its required attention as the police had no powers under the Matrimonial Causes Act to delve into the issue.

One the victim’s sons, Nze Nathaniel Okpalaku wondered why an aged woman of 98years would be treated like a criminal in a marital issue, lamenting a team of doctors were battling to save her life in the hospital.

“The FSARS personnel,ChiemerieNzekwe of Oka Village,Uga and conspirators should be brought to book to explain why an  aged woman of 98years should be treated like a criminal’’

When contact on phone, the Anambra state police public relations officer, Haruna Mohammed, explained that, contrary to the allegations, the police went to the Okpalaku home to recover the credentials of Mrs ChiemerieOkpalakuconfiscated by her husband Mr Emeka Okpalaku to enable her proceed for her NYSC programme.

He however acknowledged police receipt of a petition from the family adding that the command would investigate the matter.

“I was briefed about the police activity in the said family and I understand it was to help the lady in question recover her credentials to enable her proceed for her NYSC programme. I am not aware there was any altercation. We received the petition from the lawyer and the police is investigating the matter,” the PPRO said.

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