A tricycle operator, one Edet Edem, is currently in police custody for allegedly defiling a 10-year-old girl (name withheld) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Edem, 27, who hails from Oku Iboku in Itu Local Government Area of the state, was apprehended for allegedly committing the crime, by youths of Use Offot village, where he rented an apartment.
It was gathered that the tricycle operator, after committing the crime, took the girl to Use Offot market square and dumped her there while she was bleeding. It was further gathered that the girl was later rescued by a passerby, Mariam Daniels, who rushed her to Anua Hospital, along Nwaniba in Uyo for medical treatment.
Daniels, a member of a non-governmental organisation, Journalists Alliance against Gender-Based Violence, said she was moved by the victim’s pitiable state after noticing that the girl was lying helplessly in the market square. She added that she took the girl to the suspect’s residence and when she arrived there, she saw ‘a pool of blood’ in the suspect’s apartment.
“The suspect’s door was locked and there was no indication that he was within the neighbourhood,” she stated, adding that blood stains were noticed in the premises. It was gathered that the news of the incident quickly spread within the community, prompting youths to launch a manhunt for the suspect, who was found in his hometown in Oku Iboku. The tricycle operator had relocated to his hometown and hidden in a pastor’s house to avoid being arrested by the police. Speaking in an interview, Fabian Ikpe, the youth leader of Use Offot, said the suspects pleaded to be let off the hook when he was apprehended.
“We told him that he should cooperate with us before we take him to the police station,” he said. Giving his statement at the Ewet Police Station, the suspect, who confessed that he committed the crime, said that apart from being a tricycle operator, he was a senior official of a church.
“Yes, I slept with her, but when I noticed that she was bleeding, I wiped the blood from the floor,” the suspect said. It was further gathered that the wife of Governor Udom Emmanuel, Martha Udom Emmanuel, had intervened in the matter and already commenced moves to get the girl special medical treatment. A senior police officer, who took the statement from the suspect, said he (Edem) would be taken to court after the conclusion of investigation.
What is the right judgment to be passed for defiling a child?