In Ebonyi State, rape and defilement have continued to be on the increase with children becoming more victims. UCHENNA INYA reports from Abakaliki
Chioma, 10, (surname withheld), a native of Ekoli Edda, in Afikpo South Local Government Area of the state was hawking moi moi in the area when a 40-year-old man, Kingsley Ama Orji from the community defied her. The girl always helped her mother in selling moi moi and the family fed from the proceed accruing from it.
She was passing when Orji called her to come and sell to him inside his house. Chioma didn’t agree to enter the man’s house as if she knew what would happen to her if she agreed. It was a very lonely afternoon and nobody was around when Chioma walked to Orji to buy the moi moi from her.
Because of Chioma’s refusal to enter his house, Orji allegedly grabbed her and dragged Chioma into his room and allegedly had forceful canal knowledge of her.
The suspect was alleged to have inserted an object into the girl’s private part after defiling her, warning her not to tell anybody what he did to or else she would die. Chioma then left Orji with serious fear but on her way to continue selling her moi moi to her customers, she lost strength and fell down under a tree.
When it was time for her to return home, her mother became worried, having waited for her for too long without Chioma returning.
A search party was organized by her family and Chioma was seen very weak lying under the tree. The girl was taken back home but couldn’t tell what her problem was not until the following day, when her vagina and abdomen got swollen up and she opened up to her father.
The parents immediately rushed the girl to a nearby patent medicine dealer, who rejected her because of the serious nature of the case. She was then taken to Ekoli General Hospital in the community from where she was referred to Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki(AE-FUTHA) for medical attention.
Chioma has undergone series of surgeries at the hospital following the defilement. The matter, however, was reported to the police and the suspect was arrested by a team of Policemen from Afikpo South.
The matter was later transferred to the state Police headquarters, Abakaliki. The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Loveth Odah, confirmed the incident. She told our correspondent that the Commissioner of Police, Sule Maku, has directed that the matter be immediately investigated by the CID of the police.
Odah said: “It is reported in Ekoli Edda, Afikpo South Local Government Area of the state that on the 8th day of September, 2020 by 2: pm, that a couple went to the police station and reported that a man who is 40 years old, Kingsley Ama Orji, defiled their daughter.
“The husband and wife narrated that their daughter was on her way to sell moi moi when the man called her to buy moi moi from her and forcefully dragged her into the room and had unlawful carnal knowledge of her.
“For now, it is usual that any time such a thing happen, we give a medical performer to a Doctor who will give us expert advice on it to know if what is alleged is true or not. We have not gotten the report from the Doctor. We are still waiting for the report but the matter is being investigated. Mr. Kinsley Ama Orji is in the cell.
He is in custody and investigation is going on. “At the end of the day, if Chioma was confirmed to have been defiled, justice will take its course and the suspect will be charged to court for the offence committed.
The Commissioner of Police Ebonyi State command, CP Philip Maku, has actually directed that the matter should be transferred to the state police headquarters and that CID should investigate the matter distinctly and find out what has happened and if the man is found guilty, he will be charged to court.” It was alleged that the relatives of the alleged rapist and Chioma’s parents were planning to resolve the matter without police or court interference.
But the Federation of International Women Lawyers(FIDA) vowed that justice must prevail on the matter. FIDA’s Chairperson in the state, Mrs. Grace Iheanacho Chima, who condemned the defilement, described the condition of the victims in the hospital as pathetic. “We were informed that an 11-year-old girl was brutally raped by a 40-year-old man and that the girl’s condition was so bad such that she needs medical attention and justice.
“Immediately we got that information that Thursday night, I had to pass that information across to my team, my Lawyers. The following day, all of us rushed to the scene. “We first of all went to the police station and on getting there, we discovered that the police lived up to expectation by arresting the man.
The girl was initially admitted at Owutu General Hospital in Afikpo South but we were told that she didn’t get adequate medical attention such that her condition worsened and that she was losing it. In order to save her life, she was transferred to FETHA1 as a matter of urgency and emergency.
“We drove straight to FETHA1 and saw the girl in a terrible condition. She was screaming on top of her voice because of the pains she got from the defilement. I was allowed to enter into the room she is in the hospital and she was in a very pitiable condition. I discovered that her lower abdomen was swollen up and when I made inquiry, I was told that it might end up being a surgical case.
“We want to cry out, calling on government, calling on public spirited individuals to come to her aid.
She is actually an indigent and we had to contribute money, the little we can and bought things including provisions for her. She needs help but the good news is that the man has been arrested. One thing I am promising her is that we are going to use our legal powers to ensure that she gets justice.
The court has resumed. Let the police conclude their investigations then we take the man to court”, she said. Also, a Right group in the state, Save the Next Child Foundation, said it would ensure that the victim gets justice. Founder of the organization, Barr. Steve Ugama, stated this while reacting to the defilement.
He said: “We are looking at justice for the girl so that nobody will do this type of thing and get away with it. We are also looking on our part to see if we can give the girl scholarship, so that she should stay off the street because at this age, she should be in school. “But probably because of the family fortune, that’s why she had to assist the mother.
We want to take that burden away from them to ensure that she goes to school so that she will never have to experience this type of thing again”. As Chioma is battling for survival at the hospital, a 10-year-old girl in Ihuogo Poperi Isielu Amangwu, Amasiri in Afikpo North Local Government Area of the state was defiled by her biological father, Sunday Agu.
Agu is said to be in the habit of having sex with the victim each time his wife is not around. He was said to have had sex with the girl in the night when the wife went for a church vigil. The victim had injury on the leg before and her mother was bathing her and discovered what happened to the victim.
The victim(names withheld) narrated how she was repeatedly defiled by her father thus: “That day, we had our new yam festival. I was sleeping when my father came into where I was sleeping in the night and pulled off my pant. He immediately inserted his penis into my vagina. I told him that I will tell my mother what he was doing to me. He used his hands and closed my mouth so that I will stop crying or shouting and my mother went to church that time.
My father threatened to personally kill me if I tell anyone what he was doing to me. “After doing me what he was doing, he took me inside his own room and also did it to me. In the morning, my mother was bathing me and I told her when she discovered that something was wrong with me when she was pressing my body with warm water the way she always do while bathing me”.
The victim’s mother, Mrs. Agu, said she discovered what happened to her daughter when she was pressing her leg with warn water following the injury she has on her leg. “Immediately, I pressed her leg with a warm water, she shouted loudly and she was stark naked.
I saw sperm on her private part and saw how my daughter’s vagina looked like a woman that just delivered a baby. I took her out of the place we were and entered inside our bathroom. I started asking her what happened to her but she refused to talk.
“I went into the house and carried cutlass which I used to threatened her that I will kill her if she refused to talk and she opened up and told me how her father has had sex with her for over four times and threatened to kill her if she tells anyone.”
It was alleged that Sunday Agu has also had carnal knowledge of her two other daughters forcing her wife to relocate the two daughters to her sister’s place following the last incident involving the 10 year old girl.
Meanwhile, police has arrested Agu following FIDA’s intervention while the organization has taken the victim to hospital for medical examination and treatment.