Karen Igho Assaulted – What Really Happened at SMIRNOFF Midnight Circus Event
Renowned Big Brother Africa 2011 winner and Naija FM radio entertainment personality, Karen Igho experienced the ‘unpalatable and unusual’ at what was supposed to be a night of fun on Friday, 14 December, 2012 at the SMIRNOFF Midnight-Circus 3D RAVE event. Karen who had been invited by event organizers went to cheer and support her friend and Channel O VJ, Denrele who was MC at the event.
According to witnesses the following took place at the event’s car park; the celebrity radio personality arrived at the event, and was approached by a Mopol (mobile-police) officer in uniform (apparently one of the security guards hired by the event organizers) while trying to park her car. As she parked, the officer demanded for money in the usual ‘naija’ traditional tone to which Karen muted, Later. When she was ready to leave, she noticed another car had been directed to park in a way that blocked her from moving her car. She requested that the security officers help facilitate the moving of the other car as she was ready to leave the venue. The Mopol officer still demanded money and Karen feeling irritated asked why he wanted to extort money from her when he would not even do his job. After trading some words of insults with the celebrity, the Mopol officer became fierce and slapped Karen Igho causing her to thunder to the ground and hitting her head against the car. Subsequently, the Mopol was said to have cocked his gun and threatened to shoot the celebrity causing witnesses to disperse and run for cover. The impact of the slap left her with a swollen face (as seen in the attached picture) and cracked jaw.
In Karen words, ‘I go Smirnoff ice party, na hin Mopol slapped me and then said he would shoot me because I no give am money, I feel violated and abused’. While the Celebrity Radio OAP has since gone to the hospital for treatment, she is demanding justice through an inquiry into the matter by the event organizers, while also asking for a public apology from the brand managers of Smirnoff Ice because of the shameful incident.
Understandably, Karen Igho is our ‘unusual’ celebrity, simple and approachable with no air of superiority around her but, should this make her susceptible to such a horrendous treatment by someone who is suppose to protect the public and uphold the law. Of course most of us are often witnesses to the appalling acts and injustice done by public officials (especially those in uniform) on a daily basis on our streets and in the society. We are left helpless, with no efficient medium to seek redress or speak up against such an act. This act goes beyond injustice against a celebrity; this is a violation against humanity and more specifically against women. Isn’t our constitution and laws supposed to protect women, but here we have the symbol of the law and order harming the very citizens meant to be protected.
Violators must be punished. I know in the mind of some of us, we feel helpless, we even think to ourselves that this happens every day to the ordinary citizen, the more reason we should resist and speak out against this act of terror by the uniformed men or women. We can only hope that this will inspire the state and national legislature to re-enact laws that will address the issue of oppression and injustice by uniformed and non-uniform service people. Let us speak up against oppression by those who are meant to protect us and our laws. Nothing in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria justifies assault on any citizen. Hence, it is essential that the authorities of the Nigerian Police Force and Military services enforce and uphold the discipline of their men and women rather than shamefully covering up or excusing their horrible acts of ‘acting as though they are above the law’. Karen Igho says ‘No to civil or domestic Abuse and Assault!’