A 25-year-old man, Wasiu Bankole, was on Wednesday arrested by men of the Ogun State police command for forcefully having carnal knowledge of a 70-year-old woman (name withheld). The suspect was arrested following a report by the victim at Agbado division of the command.
This was disclosed yesterday by the command’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, in a statement in Abeokuta. According to the victim, while she was sleeping in her house on June 2 at Abule Lemode area of Ijoko at about 8:00 p.m., the suspect suddenly broke into her room, held her down and forcefully had carnal knowledge of her against her consent.
The victim stated further that it was one of her neighbours who heard her screaming that came to her rescue by using a stick to hit the suspect at his back consequence upon which he jumped off her and ran away leaving his clothes, shoe and torchlight inside her room.
Upon the report, the Divisional Police Officer, Agbado division, Kuranga Yero, dispatched his detectives to look for the suspect and bring him to justice. The detectives succeeded in getting him arrested 24 hours after and brought him to the station.
On interrogation, he confessed to committing the crime but claimed to have acted under the influence of alcohol. The victim has since been taken to the hospital for medical attention. The Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson, has ordered the immediate transfer of the suspect to the anti-human trafficking and child labour unit of the state criminal investigation and intelligence department for further investigation and diligent prosecution.
Also, a 25-year-old man, Ezekiel Yunana, is in police custody for raping an 85-year-old grandmother in Rafi local government area of Niger State. The victim reported that she was sleeping when the suspect broke into her room through the window and forcefully had carnal knowledge of her.
She explained that Ezekiel had threatened to kidnap her, asking her to pay a large sum of money, which she told him she didn’t have. The victim added that the suspect raped her for a very long time before she was rescued by her grandson, Ishaku Achidawa, who was able to identify him.
Confessing to the crime, Yunana said he raped her since she did not have any money to give him. The state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Abiodun Wasiu, disclosed that the Police Divisional Office in Kagara received the complaint from the grandmother and her grandson and arrested the suspect.
He added that the suspect had confessed to committing the crime, adding the case will soon be charged to court.
Meanwhile, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has nullified the insinuation in some quarters that there is no justice for rape victims, especially when it is presented in any court in Nigeria. There are indications that most victims of rape always developed cold feet due to lack of evidence to prove their case, particularly in the law court, hence they choose not to approach the court or law enforcement agencies for justice.
NAPTIP Director-General, Julie Okah-Donli, who spoke to journalists in Abuja, insisted that justice for rape is possible if only the victim knows what to do and be bold enough to speak up, and report the matter to law enforcement agents.
She added: “If anyone is raped, the first thing to do is to report the matter to the nearest police station in the state in which she was raped. It is not advisable to wash yourself off and then report the case, that will affect the investigation. Rather, It is more effective if you report in that particular state in which you were raped. Afterwards, you visit the hospital to get a doctor’s report to back up the claim.
“The doctor, expectedly, will carry out some medical and forensic examination of the situation to confirm the allegations. And with the victim appearing in the state in which she was raped, it will be easier for the doctor to quickly confirm the situation, which will be included in his or her report. That is all you need, the police and doctor’s report, to get justice in any court of law when it comes to the issue of rape in Nigeria.
“Unfortunately, because of the fear of stigmatization, most rape victims usually don’t do what they are supposed to do to get the expected justice. I strongly believe that once people are educated and enlightened on what to do regarding rape cases, we would be having harvest of convictions and that would go a long way in reducing the rising cases of rape in Nigeria.”