Battered Adamawa Female Journalist Drops Charges Against Husband, NAWOJ Insists On Justice

Nafeesah Vandi, the Adamawa female journalist who was violently assaulted by her husband, has said she is not interested in taking her husband to court.

Recall that earlier this month, THE WHISTLER had reported that Nafeesah was beaten beyond recognition by her husband, Ibrahim Aliyu, a former staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Yola branch. 

He subsequently went into hiding after the matter was reported to the police.

Aliyu later emerged from hiding and reported himself to the police which promptly charged him to court.

But his enstranged wife, Nafeesah, has told the police she would not press charges against her husband and urged it to drop the case.

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Adamawa chapter, which was a complainant in the case, has also come out to explain in a press statement that it had obliged the request from the victim, her parents, religious leaders, and prominent citizens in the state to withdraw the case for alternative resolution.

The statement noted that the suspect, who had also regretted his actions and shown remorse, had agreed to meet various conditions set by the victim, as the case is to be handled at the family level.

However, Ladi Bala, the National President of Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), and one of the complainants, told THE WHISTLER in a telephone chat that justice should be done to serve as deterrent to others.

.She said: “Currently, you may be aware that the woman is a female journalist working with Adamawa Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), and when this incident happened, one of her colleagues and friend called me and forwarded the picture of her battered face to me. I called her and she said she was with the victim and I asked for the phone to be given to her. We spoke.

“I asked her, ‘what do you want?’ She said she wanted justice. I told her that ‘this man in question is your husband and I hope by the time you move forward seeking for justice, something will not come up and you’ll say you’re withdrawing?’ She said no, the man is no longer her husband, he had divorced her. It was even after he finished divorcing her that he told her that he would beat her and disfigure her face in such a way that any man who sees her would not admire her again. After that, he beat her and concentrated on the face, truly battering it just as he wanted. She sustained a dislocation on one of her hands and a tooth was affected. 

“I now said, ‘OK as our association, being a member, we have to take the right step if that is what you want.’ So we went to the police and there we equally met the NUJ there and the complaint was lodged.”

Ladi Bala said Nafeesah was however allegedly blackmailed to drop the case.

She said, “Last week Sunday, I called a friend, a fellow journalist who had been following the case and she said, ‘ah, there’s a new twist to this whole thing now. There’s pressure coming from all over that the lady (Nafeesah) should withdraw the case. That they are using psychological blackmail on her that her children will end up being victimised Knowing that their mother put their father behind bars and so on.’”

Bala revealed that prominent people, including government officials and state legislators “who passed the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act in Adamawa State” were pressuring the lady to withdraw the case.

The NAWOJ president said Aliyu’s action was a criminal offence that the Police must prosecute.

The Police PRO Adamawa State Command, Nguroje, told THE WHISTLER:

“The Command has charged the case to court. Prior to that, the victim came to the office saying that she is not interested in making a case with her husband who happens to be the father of her children. Now, NUJ said they are in support of her, but NAWOJ said no, let the law take its course. So the police decided to play a neutral ground, that whatever the situation is, we cannot allow her to withdraw the case at the police station because we are the frontliner in fighting and campaigning against gender based violence. 

“So the Command, under the able leadership of the Commissioner of Police, Sikiru Kayode Akande, has charged the case to court that whatever undertaking or agreement they want to enter into, they should go and do it before the court of law. We have now charged the case to chief magistrate court 1 Yola.”

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