Monday, May 26, 2014

Victim of Customs Officer's acid attack discharged from hospital

Tope Fadipe, the lady who was attacked with acid by a Nigerian Customs Officer in Badagry area has been discharged from the General Hospital in Badagry, Sahara Reporters reports. (Read here)

Tope was admitted at the hospital on May 9th following the attack by Chief Superintendent of Customs F.C. Nwaeze, who accused her of failing to remit N50,000 in stock sales to his wife, an
allegation Tope denied but was still punished for it. The acid caused the victim grievous bodily harm.

Her attacker is currently being held at the Police State Criminal Investigation Department at Panti in Yaba, Lagos. Continue... 

Mr. Nwaeze reportedly got his boys at the Badagry Customs unit to torture her. Although she said they were two salespersons working for officer Nwaeze's wife, she said she was the only one tortured by the team Nwaeze assembled.

The victim said the next she recalls was repeated blows and kicking on different parts of her body by the attackers.

Ms.Fadipe, 22, said she was already unconscious in a drainage gutter when her mother arrived to save her. But then, she already was soaked in an unknown liquid substance poured on her during the beatings.

She recounted that when she was taken home, she could not allow anyone pull her clothes because it was now stuck to her skin and was painful whenever anyone tried to pull them off. She then screamed out as her skin was peeling off.

Her younger sister, Kemi Fadipe, who was in the hospital while the victim was being discharged told our correspondent that they noticed the liquid substance must have been a harmful chemical substance because of the manner her skin quickly disintegrated.

However, Medical Director of the General Hospital, Dr Opeyemi Aihonsu suggested that the substance was diesel mixed with detergent.

Writing the discharge note on Saturday, the doctor in charge of her treatment, Mr. Boson Bakare said she had healed up fast from the injury and would only require some follow ups to heal up completely. Although, he added, she may be left with permanent scars for the rest of her life.

The doctors said since the report of her admission at the hospital made the news on the internet; the hospital had received countless visits both from the Nigerian Customs Service, the Nigerian Navy, Federal and State government officials as well as civil society organizations.

On Friday, members of the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Health led by Mr. Avoseh visited the victim with a promise to stand by her.

Also, present at the formal discharge of the victim on Saturday was president of the Women Arise, Mrs. Joe Okei-Odumakin.

She said it was fair enough that the attacker had been "made to eat the humble pie". She told the family that her organization was ready to take the issue up with the Nigerian Customs if the family has any further issue of threat or unfulfilled promises. She, however, insisted that the erring officer must be properly punished to send a strong signal to others who may be in the habit of using their position to oppress ordinary citizens.

Saharareporters learned that there were many interventions with the family including traditional rulers and the Customs Comptroller General, Abdullahi Dikko Inde, making many promises which were documented for the victim.

Although the family pleaded not to disclose the compensations, with which they said they are absolutely satisfied, the victim, Ms. Fadipe told our correspondent that the package included a promise of scholarship to study abroad.

It was also learned from another family source that there is a promise to open a provisions store for the victim, in addition to an undisclosed amount in cash promise.

"I am satisfied with all the promises", the victim said on Saturday.

Her skin, which had been burnt significantly during the attack had healed significantly.

Meanwhile, the Comproller General of the Nigerian Customs, Abdullahi Dikko Inde has promised to ensure justice is done in the case of Mr. Nwaeze. Mr. Dikko has threatened to suspend or dismiss Nwaeze depending on findings of their internal investigations.

Mr. Nwaeze is currently being detained at the Police State Criminal Investigation Department at Panti in Yaba, Lagos according to the Customs boss.

Source: Sahara Reporters

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