Parents To Face Jail Terms For Child Hawking In Akwa Ibom

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File photo: Akwa Ibom state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel making his remarks at January edition of Government House Prayer Meeting at Later House Chapel, Uyo

By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo

The Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police, CP. Imohimi Edgal has warned parents and guardians to be guided and show reasonable conduct in managing their homes, stressing that, henceforth, any parent or caregiver who sends out his/her child or ward to hawk wares on the streets in the state, will face 10 years jail term.

CP Edgal who handed down the warning, today, during a press conference at the police headquarters, Ikot Akpanabia, Uyo, said the command will invoke the provisions of the Child Rights Act in the state which bans hiring of children for hawking and prescribes punishment.

According to the Commissioner, any child or ward found hawking on the streets in the state will have his or her parent or caregiver arrested and prosecuted on convictions of contravening the provisions of the Child Right Act as emplaced in the state.

He said the order is meant to control the incidences of child defilement and rape currently on the increase in the state, besides using it to serve as a deterrent to others who may wish to indulge in such crime against humanity.

While the command is taking the step, CP Edgal also warned the general public, especially the parents and to be mindful of the characters and integrity of persons to whom they entrust their children and wards in their care, noting that the common factors responsible for child defilement and rape are traceable to their so-called spiritual fathers or persons in authority in the course of hawking wares on the streets.

Consequently, CP Edgal said, “The Police Command therefore enjoins the general public particularly parents and guardians to be more cautious of the integrity of persons to whom they entrust their children and wards. The Command’s advice is premised on the fact that some of the minors were sexually violated by their so-called spiritual fathers or persons in authority in the course of hawking.

“To this end, the Command warns that any parent or guardian whose child or ward is sent out to hawk will be arrested and prosecuted in line with the provision of section 30 (2C) of the Child’s Rights Act which prohibits hiring of children for hawking and also prescribes a punishment upon conviction to 10 years imprisonment in section 30(3).”

“To this end, the Command warns that any parent or guardian whose child or ward is sent out to hawk will be arrested and prosecuted in line with the provision of section 30 (2C) of the Child’s Rights Act which prohibits hiring of children for hawking and also prescribes a punishment upon conviction to 10 years imprisonment in section 30(3).

He further added, “Again, the Police Command urges the good people of the State not to be dissuaded by stigmatization or threats from reporting Gender Based Violence and other sexual related offences to the Police, as the Command is not only poised to ensure justice but will also ensure that the victims will be given the need protection, medical attention, psychological counseling, and other supports necessary for their wellbeing.

Meanwhile, 12 persons including a clergy have been arrested at different locations and places by the police for alleged offence of rape and incest as well as defilement of minors in the state within the last three weeks
Among the accused is one Udo Ekong Esau ‘m’, aged 55yrs old of Odot 1, Nsit Atai local government area who was arrested on June 9, 2020 by operatives from the Area Divisional Offices following a reliable intelligence approach.

Offence against him revealed that he defiled and impregnated a 16-yr-old girl who took refuge in his house since November, 2019 due to mistreatment by her mother.   

Another who was arrested Operatives of ‘C’ Division apprehended following a tip-off, is one Akpan Kingsley Effiong ‘m’, aged 29yrs of No. 35 Abak Road, Uyo, who repeatedly defiled his 14yrs old daughter.

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