The Rivers State Police Command on Thursday arrested members of a vigilante group known as Diobu OSPAC in Mile Three, Diobu area of Port Harcourt for sexually assaulting a 21-year-old woman.
They were also accused of unlawfully detaining some residents of the area they arrested.
The vigilante members were said to have detained the 21-year-woman and her two brothers identified as Jesse and David for several hours.
It was gathered that trouble started after the father of the victims reported a case of domestic disagreement to the vigilante group which led to the arrest and subsequent detention of the siblings by the vigilante group.
Narrating her ordeal, the 21-year-old woman said the vigilante members subjected her to severe torture during her detention and also inserted fingers in her private parts.
She said, “On that fateful day around 8pm, the vigilante members, on the orders of our father, invaded our house and took me and my two brothers away.
“When we arrived at their office, I was placed in a separate room from my brothers. The vigilante members subjected me to severe torture and also inserted their fingers in my private parts to ascertain I was still a virgin. After beating us thoroughly, they shaved our hair and released us the next day, which was Sunday.
“I was later admitted to the hospital for four days after the vigilante group released me.”
When contacted, the Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, said it was unlawful for any vigilante group to detain any citizen, adding that the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mukan, had ordered an investigation into the incident.
Omoni said, “I am aware of that incident; I just interviewed all the parties, even the father of the girl, who initiated that action.
”The father had a domestic disagreement with the children and went to the vigilante group in Diobu to report. Then the vigilante group went to their house and arrested three of his children; a girl and two boys.
“They were unlawfully detained, tortured and had machete scars all over their bodies and even the girl alleged that she was sexually assaulted, that one of the vigilante members inserted his fingers into her private parts.
”The Commissioner of Police has asked the Nkporlu Police Station to transfer the matter to the State Criminal Investigation Department.
“As it is, the vigilante group does not have that right to operate a detention facility. At best, they complement the efforts of the police.”