Society

Assaulted Buea Girl Bent On Seeking Justice, Refutes Social Media Lies

Victim, lawyer, victim’s father and brother during a press conference at Lohtabu Law Chambers in Buea, June 14

By Njodzeka Danhatu

A 24-year-old girl that was assaulted in Buea on June 8 by four women has said she wants justice to take its course in her case.

Essou, whose full name The Post has concealed for professional reasons, equally denied all claims on social media that she has dropped the case and is accepting a proposal from her boyfriend to travel abroad.

She was speaking in Buea on Tuesday, June 14, during a press conference organised by her lawyer, Lohtabu Evans Tingom, of the Lohtabu Law Chambers.

What Happened On June 8

Narrating in the presence of her lawyer and family how she was assaulted and victimised on June 8, Essou said it all started when she received a phone call while in Limbe. Ayuk Neris, a girl that has birthed a child with Essou’s boyfriend, had texted Essou, impersonating the boyfriend. Ayuk Neris took Essou’s contact from the boyfriend’s phone. Neris, faking as her boyfriend, said there was an emergency and she needed Essou to come as soon as possible.

Essou then left Limbe for Checkpoint in Buea, where her boyfriend lives. When she got there, she met one of the boyfriend’s sisters standing by the door. When she enquired where the brother was, she said he was inside, but before Essou could go in, she pushed her and the others inside dragged her in.

Ayuk Neris then accused her of dating the father of her child. Neris and the boyfriend’s three sisters threatened her with a pestle and pressured her to undress. They proceeded to shave her hair with scissors and a blade.  They equally threatened to kill her and bury the body where no one will see. While the three women were beating and assaulting her, the younger one, a student of Bilingual Grammar School Molyko, Buea, was filming.

They did not only stripe her naked, shaved her hair, threatened her with a broken bottle, or beat her with a mortar pestle, they equally robbed pepper on a stick and inserted it in Essou’s vagina.

Aside from that, they forced her, took her phone and mobile money password, proceeded to withdraw FCFA10,000 from her account and equally transferred the filmed videos to her phone and transmitted them to her loved ones and contacts via social media.

Essou said they also stole her phone, FCFA 580,000 from her pulse and destroyed her Identity Card.

When they were done, they pushed her outside the house naked and continue to beat her. She said she could not see where she was going because there was pepper in her eyes.

It was thanks to a boy that was working at a construction side around the area that took Essou and clothed her before calling the police to arrest the four perpetrators.

Nature Of The Case

According to her Lawyer, Barrister Lohtabu, it constitutes a civil and criminal matter. The Barrister said even if Essou withdraws the civil matter, the criminal matter lies in the hands of the State, for which the defendants will be prosecuted.

The case which is now at the Buea Court of First Instance is still under preliminary investigation while the defendants have been jailed at the Buea Central Police awaiting trial.

The first hearing took place days back and it was adjourned to June 24, to allow the investigators gather more evidence.

Essou Denies Rumours On Social Media

Talking to journalists, Essou said she wants the state of Cameroon to seek justice for her. She categorised information on social media that the boyfriend had asked to withdraw the case for him to send her abroad as all lies.

It was only on Tuesday, June 14, that she got the strength from the hospital bed to talk. She said the boyfriend has not contacted her and she is not intending to withdraw the case or accept any proposal from the boyfriend who has not even checked up on her.

Essou and her boyfriend have been dating for two months, and despite having a kid with Ayuk Neris, the boy had promised to marry her before the incident, which happened while he was in Kumba.

Barrister Lohtabu, the Lead Counsel, is handling the matter for Essou in court alongside three other Lawyers and one Non-governmental Organisation championing women’s rights.

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