Group Calls for Justice for 11-year-old Favour Gang Raped to Death

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Favour-Okechukwu.

Rebecca Ejifoma

Since her gruesome death after brutally raped and killed by a group of four men in Ejigbo area of Lagos, various Chaild Rights Organisations and Civil Society Organisations like the Women’s Rights and Health Project (WRAHP) has continued to call for justice for 11-year-old Favour Okechukwu.

The group charged the Lagos State Government, the State Police Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu to intensify their efforts in unravelling the identity of the perpetrators, who have since eloped, then bring them to book.

The incident of Favour may live with Nigeria for a very long time, as she got missing on Wednesday September 30 but found on Thursday October 1 when the nation was celebrating her 60th independence anniversary.

Addressing newsmen in Lagos after a peaceful protest to the State Police Command Ikeja, the Executive Director and Founder, WRAHP, Bose Ironsi, noted that the issue of rape in Nigeria was becoming a calculated terror against children, girls and women.

“The case of Favour Okechukwu, who would have turned 12 on October 21, is one such case. After the father found his daughter in that state, you can imagine, this incident has left the parents highly traumatised,” she decried.

It is to further protect the girl child in the society that the WRAHP in partnership with members of the community, CS0s and other weIl-meaning Nigerians is calling on the Nigeria Police for expedited action on this case, to bring the perpetuators to book.

Women’s Rights and Health Project (WRAHP) is an organisation passionately promoting the rights and health of women and young ones, and seeks to ensure that women and girls enjoy their fundamental rights to a safe society.

The organisation is working with her partners, ActionAid Nigeria and the British Council Nigeria to ensure access to justice for Favour and several other girls and women.

Although Ironsi said some psychologists have been sent to the family of the victim to be able to start the process of healing, the organisation insisted, “We want Justice and justice we must get”.

“Over the years, Women’s Rights and Health Project has recorded over 500 different types of Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) cases in Alimosho and Oshodi-Isolo LGAs of Lagos State,” she recounted.

Ironsi listed such cases topping the list as battery, assault, child abuse and rape. While all these forms of SGBV are gross violations of human rights, none is more gut-wrenching than rape, and none more so than the one that results in death.

The ED added that incessant rape incidents within the community is sending a very wrong message to children that they cannot play, go to church, mosque, school or move around their communities.

“We will not want this to be swept under the carpet. It is still very fresh. We want result, action. Let the law take its due course and it should be on time,” she implored.

Reacting to their request, the State CP, Hakeem Odumosu said, “I know what the parents must be going through because Favour was a promising child in the family.”

He declared: “With my position as the Commissioner of Police, I want to assure you that everyone involved will be dealt with. Anywhere any dastardly act is carried out in Lagos henceforth, everyone will be arrested including the landlord of the building where the criminal activity took place.

Odumosu further vowed to arrest the landlord for silent conspiracy. “This will never go unresolved. Assuming she is my daughter, how will I feel? Justice will be done and this will serve as a deterrent to others.”