Rape: Rights Group, CRRAN, Lauds  Gov. Mbah For Ensuring Justice In Case Of 14 Year Old Girl

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By;   KELVIN OKPARA,  Enugu.

 A human rights organization,   

Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN), has applauded Enugu State Governor,  Dr. Peter Mbah, over his  intervention, in ensuring justice in a case of  alleged rape and defilement of a 14-year old girl by her Madam’s husband.

It said, “we write to you to commend your intervention in respect of the above mentioned matter, which if not for your intervention justice would have eluded the victim.”

President of CRRAN, Barrister Olu  Omotayo, in a letter addressed to the governor, which was made available to newsmen on Wednesday, noted that the “National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking  in Persons (NAPTIP), Zonal office, Enugu, where the complaint was first made to, released on bail the suspect of this heinous crime the following day after his arrest and further take steps to arraign the suspect at the Federal High Court Enugu for a lesser offence of sexual exploitation after its’ investigation.

“It would be recalled that the complaint in the case is in respect of a 14 year old child who explained how she has not been going to school for some time and how the husband of her mistress Mr. Charles Nnaike, and one of his friend had since 2019, consistently raped her over the years. 

“He started abusing the child while the child was in primary 6. Your Excellency believed in what we believed that where an offender commits a heinous crime against the state and humanity, he should be made to face the full wrath of the law. 

” The offence committed by the offender in the instant case is rape and defilement. An offender in a case of rape is liable to life imprisonment and for anybody to think that the offender could be charged for a lesser offence as done earlier in this case is criminal, an assault on the Rule of Law and attack on the sensibilities of citizens of this country.

According to Omotayo, “it is on record that it is through your intervention that the Department of State Security re-arrested Mr. Charles Nnaike, conducted a thorough investigation and arraigned the suspect in court which remanded him in prison custody, while awaiting the Ministry of Justice to formally arraign the suspect before the High Court for Rape and Defilement.

“Your noble intervention is significant and similar to the intervention of the state in: STATE v. IJIWANDE (2020) LPELR-51627(CA) PARAS B-C AT PAGE 60. The Court of Appeal in commending the Osun State Government, stated thus: 

“I must also commend The State for the bold but rare step they took in pursuing this appeal. The normal reaction of the State is mainly to respond to an appeal but rarely do they appeal even in the face of a perverse decision. 

“This case which bothers on a sexual offence against a minor is very significant and profound in its implications. It sends a very important signal especially to schools that the State will not look on while teachers who are supposed to protect their pupils and students begin to prey on them and seek to use their position to wriggle out.

” It is indeed delightful for the State not to give up but pursue this kind of cases for six good years to its logical conclusion. More of these kinds of cases deserve visibility to act as deterrents to these kinds of respondents who are wolves who deserve to be caged in zoos and not as innocent sheep preying on our little children” Per PATRICIA AJUMA MAHMOUD, J.C.A.at Pg 60 -61Paras A-D

“It is delightful that you have sent a very important signal and showed as a leader the visibility to act in this case so that it will serve as deterrents to this type of offenders who the Court of Appeal says deserve to be caged in the zoos.

 “What you have done in this case is not challenging the Federal Government Agency concerned but you only demand that Justice must be done, which is the duty of every patriotic citizen of this country. 

“In the recent case of Fed Rep of Nigeria V, Godwin Umeakuana FHC/EN/CR/15/2020, a case being prosecuted by NAPTIP at the Federal High Court Enugu; the Presiding judge Honorable Justice F. Giwa Ogubanjo, during the proceedings of 31st January 2024, suo moto had to make an Order compelling the Zonal Commander NAPTIP Enugu office to appear before it. 

“The judge was furious over the refusal after several adjournments at the instance of the agency to submit to the court mental evaluation of the accused person so that the court can on its’ own determine whether the accused was fit to stand trial. The Courts’ Record of proceedings is attached herewith.

“So your intervention in this case is not witch-hunting anybody but to take a positive stand to demand for justice as obtainable in saner climes all over the world.

“We also commend the steadfastness and courage of the mother of the victim Mrs. Chinwendu Ozioko, who was full of appreciation for your intervention. 

“The unemployed 2015, graduate of Economics, of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), despite her impecuniosities was determined and courageous to demand that maximum penalty must be meted out to the rapist who raped her child.”

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