A textile business woman, identified as Mrs. Olajoke Adesipe, has accused popular musician cum Director-General for women development, Onyeka Onwenu of assault. According to her, Onwenu allegedly directed security officers to throw her wares out of her shop and as a result beat her up.
In her petition to the National Human Rights Commission dated March 3, 2014, Adedipe wrote that she was forcefully evicted from her shop at the National Centre for Women Development, Abuja on the order of Onyeka, who is the Director-General of the centre.
“I am a yearly tenant and my current tenancy would not end until December, 2014, yet they tried pushing me out. On January 21, 2014, I heard that the DG might likely eject me even when my rent is still valid.
I got a letter to vacate the premises within three days on January 28,2014, while another letter was given to me on February 4. I wrote a letter to Onwenu on February 6, and sent her a text message three days later seeking an audience.
She gave me an appointment for the following day and after narrating her story, the DG apologized and said that a formal apology letter would be written by the centre to her. Onwenu said I should vacate the shop but promised that I would be relocated to the shopping complex within the premises.
I agreed but insisted that I would only vacate the shop when given an allocation letter.”
However, on February 13, the businesswoman allegedly got a call from Onwenu asking why she had not moved out of the shop.
“I told her that nobody had given me an allocation letter for the new shop as she promised. She said if I failed to move out by February 14, she would send for the State Security Service to chase me out. On February 14, I was at the centre early. I heard that Onwenu, in company of her security personnel, had forced my shop open. I ran there and saw her supervising the forceful ejection without any prior court or police order.
While trying to take pictures of the scene with my phone for evidence, Onyeka Onwenu ordered her men to confiscate my phone. In the struggle for the phone, I was beaten and dragged on the ground, while my cloth and bags were torn.” Adesipe disclosed in the petition.
Confirming the incident, the Legal Adviser, Women centre, Mohammed Suleiman, explained that Adesipe was not a legal tenant of the centre, adding that she has been allocated another shop which she refused to accept.