A 61-year-old man, Ochedikwu Solomon raped and impregnated 14-yr old househelp in Otukpo, Benue State.
When apprehended by the youths of the area on Wednesday November 7, 2018, he quickly hid the girl.
Arrested and taken to the police, Grandpa Solomon, a major betting merchant in the Otia area of the town, admitted he was responsible for the pregnancy of the girl who works for his neighbour and was in Primary Four.
He boasted that nobody could touch him and allegedly ‘greases’ the police’s large palms in the name of bail. He secured his freedom almost immediately, gloating at the youths.
The police looked the youths in their perplexed faces, threw up their hands in the air and said ‘you go and look for the girl and bring her. As you can see, she is nowhere to be found and we can’t detain the man unjustly.”
They made no attempt whatsoever to find her or pacify her sick mother who came from the village and had been wailing all along. They obviously returned to eating pounded yam and goat meat, sleeping, waking and demanding for ‘bail’ from the next gloating criminal ‘customer’.
So, same yesterday, FIDA (association of female lawyers) Benue chapter and I reached out to the Otukpo LGA chairman, Mr. George Alli, who was out of town. Once he returned and saw my messages, he called me several times, sent messages updating me on the steps he was taking to find the girl and get the paedophile re-arrested. He was also in touch with FIDA strong woman, Magdalyne Dura.
This morning, the girl and the rapist have been rounded up by the vigilante members and are on their way to the police station. The grandpa’s ‘tiger son’ who reportedly threatened to ‘deal’ with the youths have suddenly lost his tigritude.
Kudos To Mr Alli
Mr. Alli, a young administrator, is well known in his constituency as an exemplar of administrative acumen in running the Otukpo Local Government.
Relating with him first time yesterday and seeing his quick responses, I am impressed and indeed relieved at seeing an exception in a state heaving perennially under the terrible weight of crassly incompetent leadership.
I think he has also shown himself as someone dedicated to the upholding of human rights.
Following Ochanya Ogbanje’s death, Mr. Alli held an event in Otukpo to honour her memory during which he named a street after the 13-year old whose life was brutally terminated by a father and son devilish duo. It is the first of such public gesture by any entity in Benue in response to the case which has captivated the entire country in the last couple of weeks.
And now, this is Mr. Alli’s first test-case to prove his intolerance for sexual violence especially those against minors.
Profuse thanks to a journalist, Udeh Adole; Mr. Aboyi; Pastor Israel; Desmond Oogwu; and FIDA Benue officials who have all remained dedicated to ensuring justice since yesterday when this came to light.
FIDA is sending a lawyer to the police station. We will together get justice for this little girl, God willing…to serve as deterrence to others and to ensure the safety of other children.