Onyinye was a corper, serving in Badagry West LCDA in Lagos State when the unfortunate incident happened to her.
The victim became a born again christian, decided to live a new life and didn't think being in a relationship was appropriate, so she ended the relationship she was in with Ifeanyi Collins Ude in December 2010. Two months later, Ifeanyi, who's based in Enugu came to Lagos to visit Onyinye, with evil intentions.
As Onyinye was seeing off her once abusive boyfriend, Ifeanyi brought out a container from the plastic bag he was carrying, poured acid on Onyinye, and ran off.
Before Onyinye could raise alarm, Ifeanyi had disappeared, but was caught many hours later by the police as he made to leave Nigeria for Republic of Benin.
The acid attack has left the young woman partially deformed. From the right side of her neck to the right hand and down to the upper end of her right breast were affected. Today, the wounds have healed, the scar turned deep brown, making bold patches on her skin. The neck region is partly glued with a little untanned patch where the wound has not healed completely.
The major complaint she has is her loss of confidence in the police, which she believes did a shoddy job of Ifeanyi’s arrest by releasing him after his initial appearance at the Oyingbo Chief Magistrate’s Court (Court 12) in April. At his first arraignment, Onyinye was still in hospital. But on May 20, July 13 and 15, the subsequent adjourned dates she was at the court and saw Ifeanyi brought in to face prosecution. “He saw me on those days. On May 20, he was brought by the police. But after that they released him. So on those days of appearance in July he came on his own, but never behaved like he saw me. He has never shown any remorse, and rather exhibited his defiance to my uncle who he picked quarrels with at the court premises.
“In those days in court, the matter was never heard. We just left with a new date on October 12. After the last day in court, the NYSC lawyer who had been assisting me called to say that the police released Ifeanyi on grounds that we would settle out of court and find ways of making up. But till date, neither Ifeanyi nor his family ever made any peace move to me or my family. I reliably gathered that he is back in Enugu walking free and doing his business. In fact, to compound my problem, he has called me some number of times. He still threatens me with more attacks unless I marry him. I had refused to pick his calls until the lawyer encouraged me to hear him out. But as he asks me how I am, the next would be a return to the usual threat, and on one of such calls, he told me he is happy I feel the pains of the acid burn as he feels the pains of my leaving him,” Onyinye alleged.
I have a lot of pains and burdens on my body and mind now. One of the pains is that while I was serving the nation, I had this problem and the NYSC did nothing to make sure the assailant was prosecuted. I have got no justice up till now. I am fed up with the judicial system that has not tried Ifeanyi till date or the police that released him to go free. I doubt the possibility of making him come back to Lagos for the trial.” On seeing her now, she is like at 50 percent depreciation from the elegant figure you see in this picture she took at the NYSC camp. The acid really got at her personality, far deeper than the skin.
Onyinye still remains on medication till date. When she was newly discharged from hospital, she used to take an injection once a week that costs N1,400 a dose. Now it’s a monthly affair at the same cost, in addition to antibiotics, analgesics, anti-histimines and a cream that helps to flatten the thick scalds.
The injection is what stops further growth.
“I have to tell you that I have another major concern apart from the denial of justice. I am afraid I could be a victim of discrimination by employers who might distance me because of the ugly scalds on me, and what about my future of getting a man to marry with all these on me.”
The graduate of Economics from the Enugu State University of Science and Technology says what she needs badly is assistance from concerned people – the state governor, Mr. Sullivan Chime, the Youths Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, human rights groups and the public to raise N2.6m to enable her have corrective plastic surgery in an Indian hospital according to her doctor.
Should you feel concerned to come to Onyinye’s assistance and restore her physically and psychologically, she could be reached on 08037811215. Such assistance would dry her tears and make her live her normal life once again.