Police to arraign Ebonyi man over alleged sexual assault – From Reginald Okoro

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CP Philip Sule Maku

The Ebonyi Police Command said that it has concluded arrangements to arraign Mr Sunday Awoke accused of alleged sexual assault of a 19 year old lady in Ebonyi.

DSP Loveth Odah, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ebonyi Command, confirmed after investigation that the victim, one Miss Ejeh (first name withheld) was sexually molested by the culprit but not raped by her assailant.

Awoke, a liaison officer in Ebonyi local government area of Ebonyi according to medical report allegedly dipped his fingers into the victim’s genitalia without her consent and caused her severe bodily and psychological harms.

“The victim was not raped but rather there was penetration into her virgina with fingers, the penetration was not done through penis ,” Odah said.

Odah disclosed on Sunday in Abakaliki, while briefing newsmen on the incident that occurred in April 20.

Odah said that the accused would be charged to court on Monday, June 15, for alleged indecent assault.

According to her, after the clinical report was interpreted by its medical department, it was seen that there was no penetration with manhood as the victim claimed, rather the accused person, dipped his finger into the girl’s reproductive organ.

“He was arrested and subjected to investigation but the doctor’s Report could not prove the case of rape as alleged.

“The police medical department has disclosed that the victim’s hymen indicates that her virginity is still intact which shows that the suspect did not succeed in the act.

“The suspect forcefully inserted his finger into the victim’s virgina as the act of rape could not work.

“Anyone who forcefully dips hand into a woman’s private part will stand trial for indecent assault, ” she added.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General of the State, Barr Cletus Ofoke had assured the victim of Justice.

“We will ensure that justice is done and anybody who commits such offence must be brought to book, no matter how highly placed the person might be,” he said

He added that he spoke with the Deputy Police Commissioner, who told him that they were still investigating the matter.

DSP Loveth Odah

The Chairperson of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Ebonyi branch, Barr Grace Chima said that the group had petitioned the suspect to the police who commenced investigation immediately into the matter.

She said that the accused person was arrested after the petition was submitted but released few days later following the COVID-19 situation.

“We were told that the suspect was given police bail because of the COVID-19 situation as personnel of Nigerian Correctional Service no longer accept new inmates into their facilities to prevent spread of the virus.

“They assured us that the accused person will be arraigned to court as soon as the pandemic is over because the victim deserves justice,” Chima said.

Meanwhile, the victim while narrating her ordeal, told newsmen that the incident happened in their compound along Ogbaga Road in Ebonyi LGA on April 20.

She explained that on April 19, two liaison officers, a male and female were in their house to share facemasks and sensitize them on COVID-19 protocols.

She said after the enlightement, Awoke, the suspect, requested for a pair of sandal to change because of injury he has on his foot and promised to return it the following day.

“Awoke left his shoes in our house that day and returned back on Monday morning of April 20, with my elder brother’s sandals as he earlier promised but then my mother, Mrs Mary Ejeh had gone out.

“The man was supposed to drop the sandals at the gate but instead, he brought it right inside our house by himself, sat down on a chair and started asking my brother and I about our house.

“We did not reply him but only told him that our mum was not around.

” Shortly, he sent my brother on an errand and immediately closed our door and pushed me hard to the floor.

“He grapped me from the floor and threw me on the bed to have canal knowledge of me, also penetrated with his finger and rough handled me.

“But I struggled, shouted for help until he ran away,” the victim stated.

She pleaded for justice and protection to avoid threat to life.

The victim’s mother and a widow, Mrs Ejeh, who corroborated the incident, said she had reported the matter to police when she was alerted by her neighbour

“I am a primary school teacher with my five children. I do not know, if we have committed any offence by staying at home to observe governments directives that Awoke would rape my child.

“This man really tortured my daughter, that she even fainted at the police station, while making entries,” Ejeh said.

She further called on state government and other relevant authorities for justice and protection of her daughter with other members of the family.

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