By ChiemelieÂ Ezeobi
For allegedly colluding to cover the rape of a teenager in the palace, the duo of Prince Richard and Ejimofor Nwoko, were yesterday arrested by the Delta State Police Command at the premises of the Asaba Magistrates Court, after several unsuccessful attempts to pin them down.
The victim, a 15-year-old secondary school student was said to have been raped at the palace of the Obi of Idumuje-Ugboko, Aniocha North Local Government Area, Delta State.
Â It was gathered that concerted efforts are still on to further arrest the principal suspect and others, including the crown prince Nonso, so as to unravel the true position concerning the case.
Â According to the police, the arrested suspects have made statements to the police but will still be detained while investigation continues.Â
THISDAY gathered that policeÂ investigation into the case was due to a petition written by Walter Eziashi, a former President-general of Idumuje-Ugboko Development Union, alleging that after the rape, some royal princes and others allegedly covered up the case after sanctioning the suspect and imposing a fine of goats and the sum of N400,000 on him.
The alarm raised by Eziashi also attracted female lawyers in Nigeria, under the aegis of FIDA, who pushed for thorough investigation to give justice to the teenager.Â
The Public Relations Officer of FIDA, Delta State, Mrs. Stellamaris Mejulu, expressed delight with the arrest of the suspects and urged the police to prosecute all those linked to the case.Â
Also confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Anthony Aniemeka, said police were still investigating the case.
Â However, the Delta State Police Commissioner, Zanna Ibrahim who also confirmed the arrest said the suspects were picked for compounding a rape case.
According to him, “The main suspects are at large but we arrested these two because they compounded the issue by settling a crime using the native customs. Â
“The law does not recognise such native fines, we have charged them to court. They would face the full wrath of the law. We are not going to trivialise the rape case because women lawyers and journalists are interested in the matter and we would get the fleeing suspects.”