The Rivers State Police Command on Monday, December 5, arraigned five persons before a Magistrate Court sitting in Port Harcourt for allegedly raping an 11-year-old girl.
The act was said to have been committed in Buguma in the Asari Toru Local Government Area of the state.
In the charge sheet number PMCNO/1771C/2022, those arraigned are Ebi Jack, 23, Fubara George, 22, Precious Wokoma, 20, Dennis Lugard, 53 and Alalibo Harry, 32.
The victim (name withheld) had before the matter went to court told newsmen that the suspects included her stepfather, her school class teacher, the pastor of a new generation church in Buguma, Rivers State, and two youths whom she described as “area boys”.
She said all five persons had at different times, sexually abused her since the age of six.
The Chief Magistrate, Menenen Poromon, after listening to lawyers in the matter, directed for an amendment of the charges and adjourned the case till 6th of December 2022, for the suspects to take their pleas and for bail consideration.
In an interview with Punch ,the publicity secretary of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, Rivers State branch, Sophia Afoloyan, said the organisation would follow the matter to a logical conclusion to ensure that the suspects were prosecuted.
Afoloyan expressed dismay that even those who ought to have protected the girl abdicated their responsibilities.
“It is sad, it is degrading and it shows the level that the society has become, that you cannot even trust anybody,” she said.
“This little girl (was) raped by a teacher who is supposed to be a caregiver, defiled by a pastor of a church in Buguma and also raped by her so called stepfather.
“This little girl has gone through a lot, also raped by two different hoodlums at different times. FIDA Rivers we are so bitter.
“This little girl, who is an orphan, has been made to go through all of these torture in the hands of men who are much older than her (sic) and who are supposed to be her father.
“A 53-year-old man is amongst these people. And the church where she worships, in the name of a pastor, also did this to this girl.
“The girl looks sick, tiny and malnourished. FIDA is calling on parents, please don’t bring forth children you cannot cater for, not to be made vulnerable to all sorts of ills in society.
“We want to appreciate the police that took up this matter. They didn’t compromise in this matter. They made sure all of these persons were arrested and arraigned before the court. We hope that the court will do justice on this matter.
“It is cry for justice and FIDA will not relent in seeking and fighting for justice for the less-privileged, for the children and women in the society,” the state FIDA spokesperson.