Huge outcry of rage have followed a harrowing story of the rape of a 14-year-old girl by a police corporal, Barau Garba; a disturbing situation which has now gone viral in the social media.
In a statement signed by its secretary, Hamisu Gumel, the Raâ€™ayi Initiative for Human Development, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which offers humanitarian assistance and undertakes various developmental projects in the society, is seeking the prosecution of Garba for vicious rape.
According to the statement, â€œMaryam Yusuf, who lives with her parents in Asaba, Delta State, got stranded in Onitsha where her parents sent her on an errand from Asaba on October 14, 2017, after she lost her transport fare. She was approached by the said Corporal Barau Garba from MOPOL 7 Sokoto State, with service number 275601, who was on special duty in Anambra State and attached with Okpoko Police Divisional Headquarters, Onitsha.
â€œUpon learning about the girlâ€™s predicament, the randy policeman took advantage of her innocence and tricked her into believing he was going to help her. But instead of helping the girl get transport back to Asaba, he took her to a temporary police base, locked her up in his room and raped her repeatedly for six days until her private part ruptured.â€
â€œMaryamâ€™s situation and whereabouts came to the public knowledge after she was able to call her father using her abductorâ€™s cellphone which she snatched when he was fast asleep in the middle of the night. And this led to her rescue from the captivity of the policeman. She was then admitted to a hospital where doctors confirmed she was serially raped and suffered vaginal mutilation.
â€œWhile it is appalling that a police officer, who by law is supposed to protect the citizens, would be the one committing such a heinous crime, it is also more irritating to behold that the police authorities are treating the case with kid gloves by refusing to arrest and prosecute the pedophile policeman. The disturbing story currently going round is that the DPO of Okpoko Division is allegedly shielding the accused and making desperate efforts to cover up the case, as he reportedly â€˜admonishedâ€™ the father of the victim to forgive her rapist since they both are from the same regionâ€, the statement noted.
The NGO added that â€œthis crime and similar ones being committed by men in uniform against the citizens of this country are becoming alarming and setting a dangerous trend where the police, perhaps because of their uniform and the arms they carry, harass, torture and even kill innocent citizens at will and with impunity.
â€œWe urge the Inspector General of Police to immediately order for an investigation of the matter and ensure the culprit is brought to face the wrath of the law, as sweeping the matter under the carpet would not augur well for the already-battered image of the Nigeria Police and that of the country in general.
â€œWe also call on relevant government agencies such as NAPTIP, National Human Rights Commission, and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, the various human rights and NGOs in the country as well as the general public to rise to the occasion and ensure that the traumatised Maryam gets justiceâ€, the statement added.