HC Deb 25 April 1898 vol 56 cc954-5
MR. JOSEPH A. PEASE (Northumberland, Tyneside)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to a paragraph in the Standard of 13th April last, in which it is asserted a native of Sierra Leone named Coker had been inciting the natives to rise against the authorities at Abeokuta; whether Coker is the same man whose cruelty has been complained about in several petitions during the past two years presented to the Governor of the Colony of Lagos, concerning a slave concubine named Awawu Woye; whether it is true, as alleged in the petitions, that Isaac Coker had dragged Awawu Woye about naked on stony ground, sheared off her hair, tied her by the elbows with a rope to a tree branch, flogged her, brutally maltreated her on several occasions, stolen her possessions, and had poisoned her only son in May last; whether, on the petitioner's appeal for protection, liberty, redress, and restoration of her property, the Governor of Lagos has declined to interfere; and whether, on the 29th January last, the Governor publicly declared that any escaped slave that may return to Abeokuta, without previously sending his or her ransom, should be retaken and well punished by the owner; whether Coker is a British subject and can retain in slavery or otherwise a concubine against her will; and whether inquiry will be made with a view to secure the freedom of Awawu Woye and the punishment of Coker?


I have seen the paragraph referred to. I have no official information of the matters mentioned by the hon. Member, but I have asked the Governor of Lagos to furnish me with a report.