A local Nigerian lawmaker in Akwa Ibom State has appeared before a State High Court in Uyo for allegedly assaulting a woman and stripping her naked in the public. The accused lawmaker Uduak Nseobot is a councillor in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State. Mr Nseobot and his wife, Aniedi, were charged to court by the Akwa Ibom State Government for allegedly kidnapping, assaulting, and publicly stripping a woman by the name Iniubong Essien, whom they had accused of stealing some naira notes from them.

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They said the money was “sprayed” on them at their wedding, a common practice at Nigerian festivities. Miss. Iniubong Essien, who has been a close friend to the councilor’s wife for about 10 years, denied stealing the money. She stated that she only assisted the Nseobots family in cooking and serving food to their wedding guests and that she was not even the person who helped the couple to pick money donated to them at the wedding.

The councilor and his wife, supported by their friends, were said to have abducted Miss Iniubong Essien from her home in Uyo in the early morning and drove her to a village in Ibiono, about 27 kilometres away.

She was then taken to a village hall around 10 AM and was beaten up. Miss Iniubong Essien said the councilors, his wife, and their friends used their mobile phones to take photos and videos of her, while she was naked and being beaten.

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At the courtroom, the councilor, Mr. Nseobot, stood in the dock with a forlorn look. He crossed his hands behind his back. His wife, said to be resident in the U.S, was not present in the court.

The judge, Archibong Archibong, struck out the wife’s name from the charge sheet, following a request from the prosecution counsel, Godwin Udom. The prosecution counsel withdrew his earlier application for a bench warrant against the councilor.

The counsel to the accused, Mfon Ben, informed the court he has filed an application challenging the validity of the charges against his client. His request that the councilor should not take his plea until the court disposes of his objection was accepted by the judge, and the case adjourned to 14th October 2019 for the court to hear the argument on the preliminary objection.

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