A 25-year-old female employee of the Marwako Restaurant in Accra has been allegedly assaulted by a Lebanese supervisor for fidgeting with a blender and working slowly.
The assailant, Jihad Thaabn, 26, a brother-in-law of the owner of the Marwako Restaurant, is said to have angrily grabbed the neck of the victim and dipped her face into blended pepper, which he had poured onto a table.
The victim, Evelyn Boakye, whose face was allegedly rubbed in the blended pepper for more than 10 minutes while Thaabn squeezed her neck and yelled abusive words on her, had to cry for help as she pleaded with Thaabn to let her go.
Three other employees who were present as their colleague was being maltreated were said to have looked on helplessly due to threats from the supervisor to dismiss anyone who came close.
Narrating her ordeal to the Daily Graphic, Evelyn, who has been working at the La branch of the Marwako Restaurant in Accra for the past eight months, said although she had been employed to work in the Rice Department, she was occasionally asked to help in other departments where more hands were needed.
On Sunday, February 26, 2017, Evelyn said she was asked to help in the Full Chicken Department, where she was instructed to blend fresh pepper for the seasoning of the chicken.
After blending the first set, Evelyn, realising that the sound of the blender was not normal, decided to find out what the problem could be by turning off the start knob.
She said Thaabn suddenly appeared behind her and started shouting at her for attempting to destroy the blender.
“He suddenly poured the pepper I had blended on the table and grabbed by head and rubbed my face in it. I tried to free myself as the pepper went into my eyes and I couldn’t stand the burning sensation in my face but he wouldn’t let me go,” she said.
According to Evelyn, when she was finally freed, she struggled to find her way to a sink and tried to wash her face and eyes under running water with the help of some of her working colleagues.
However, while she was washing her face, Thaabn grabbed her again and locked her up in one of the rooms in the restaurant, while her eyes were still hurting.
She said her colleagues were also prevented from rescuing her.
After shouting for help to no avail, Evelyn said she was finally released from the room after more than six hours of being locked up and warned not to report the incident to the police.
After two days, Evelyn, who was still in pain, said she reported the incident to the Tesano Police who took her statement and gave her a medical form to go to hospital.
Currently, she said as tears kept flowing from her eyes uncontrollably, her eyes had become red and she was unable to open them or look at the sun or light.
“I feel there is a sore in my eyes, it’s like there is sand in my eyes and I can’t watch television or light. I am in pain and I have to bear all my medical bills by myself,” Evelyn said.
She also noted that her colleagues at the restaurant had also refused to provide witness statements to the police following a threat from the management to terminate the appointment of anyone who would do so.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the Accra Regional Police Command, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Afia Tenge, confirmed that the police received the complaint from the victim on February 28, 2017, and immediately arrested the assailant.
She said the Accra Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Nana Osaberima Oware Asare Pinkrong III, had since directed the Tesano District Police Command to parade the suspect before the command on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.
Thaabn, who was charged with assault, has since been granted a police inquiry bail pending further investigations.