DELTA: Ex-Minister Strips Staff Naked Over Alleged Theft

On tuesday, Mr Kenneth Gbagi, Chairman of Signatious Hotel, Warri, Delta State, and former Minister of State for Education, reportedly stripped four of his female staff naken over theft.

The hotel staff were identified as Gloria Oguzie, Victor Ephraim, Rosslyn Okiemute and Precious Achibong.

According to reports, the stripped female staff were filmed and shots were posted online. However, Activists and social media users condemned the act and urged the state Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, to investigate the incident and arrest all those complicit.

The Activists however took to the streets with placards with different inscriptions, such as, ‘Human rights under attack in Delta State’, and ‘We say no to bad justice in Nigeria,’ called on the federal and state governments and lawyers to assist the victims to get justice.

The leader of the protesters and Director, Young Nigerian Right Organisation, Victor Ojei, alleged that the hotel owner ordered the arrest of the workers over N5,000.

“Three females and one man were held hostage, stripped naked in the hotel room, photographed and put on video camera by the management of the hotel.

“Last week Friday, the management of the hotel stripped the ladies naked, filmed them in the presence of the police and at gunpoint. Cash was also withdrawn from the victims’ accounts through their ATM cards, before the police bundled them into a waiting van.

“The police, who should protect the citizens, connived with the hotel management and dehumanised them. Let’s assume that they stole the money, there are channels to address such matters.”

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In a statement released by Egba Ederoghene, The Director, Human Resources, Signatious Hotel, titled ‘The futile attempt of political detractors to blackmail Gbagi’.

It read :

“We wish to categorically state that at no time did Gbagi subject any staff of the hotel to such humiliation, as he is presently bereaved and occupied with preparing for the funeral of his sister, who passed away recently.

“The management also wishes to use this opportunity to inform the public that the staff members in the pictures are part of a mali • cious conspiracy by some political detractors to bring Gbagi’s character to disrepute. This is not the first time an attempt has been made to smear the character of our chairman for whatever reason.

“In the absence of any dirt to nail Gbagi’s pristine reputation, they have descended to mudslinging by concocting fictitious stories to stir emotions and gain public attention.

“However, what those behind the recent blackmail against Gbagi do not realise is that the employees, whom they handpicked for their dirty and poorly executed job, were already under investigation by the management for conniving to steal huge sums of money from the hotel, some of which have been recovered. Confessional statements to this effect can be obtained from the Ebrumede Police Station.”

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