Ebonyi State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social development has called for uncompromising invocation of the Violence against Persons Prohibition Laws (VAPP) recently introduced in the State.
The Ministry’s Head of Department, Child Development, Mr Godwin Igwe raised the alarm based on the growing incidence of rape and sexual abuses of minors in the State.
Igwe, while expressing concern to the girl child, presented a little girl of four years, Jennifer Iteze, who was allegedly abused by a boy of about 15 years in their own house.
Speaking with Journalists in Abakaliki, Mr Igwe narrated that the minor was brought to his office by the father, together with a consultant physician from the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki who confirmed the rape upon some medical examinations. He then called on parents to be wary of people they entrust the care of their children.
Igwe, who noted that the Ministry, under his department, is currently handling many cases of such abuses, vowed to ensure that the perpetrators were adequately punished in accordance with the law as VAPP law in the State does not respect age in its prescription of punishment for such offenders.
He then described the act of rape, especially of minors as a criminal offence and an abomination before God.
His words: “This is a case of a minor of the first order; a child of about four years. “He was brought to me by a consulting physician from the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, yesterday, with the father of the child.
“They came to the Ministry to see the Commissioner in order to make a passionate appeal to her to intervene in a matter of the case of rape of a child of about four years.
“I directed them to write to the Commissioner which they did, and afterward, the Doctor narrated to me as the Head of Child development department of the Ministry, how the child was brought to her at the hospital for medical examination in respect of the allegation of rape.
“She confirmed that after examining the child, she found out beyond any shadow of a doubt that the child was actually raped.
“The father will tell the story better but I am granting this interview because I am not particularly happy the way our children are being sexually abused and there is the need to address it squarely.
In the first place, parents will have to take seriously their God-given responsibility of caring for their children and of course, that the perpetrators of the crimes of this nature should not be let to go scot-free without being punished according to the provisions of the law.
“At least in Ebonyi State, we have Violence against Persons prohibition Act which was signed into by the Executive Governor of the State, Engr David Nweze Umahi on April 30, 2018.”
The victim’s father, Sunday Iteze, a native of Ndioke Ishieke in Ebonyi Local Government area of the State corroborated the story and further narrated that the rape was performed by one Ernest, a boy of about 15 years and a son to one of his co-tenants.
According to him, the boy undertook to look after the little girl and her two other siblings while he and their mother left for their different works on that very day but on return from work, they discovered that their daughter was having pains while urinating.
Upon inquiry, they were told by their daughter how Ernest came into their house while she was with her siblings and inserted his genitalia into her own.
He further explained that the case was reported to the police who later referred the matter to the Family law centre, Abakaliki.
He, however, regretted that the culprit was eventually released at the Family law centre because his wife who followed the matter to the place was not able to pay the sum of N4,000 which according to them was to be used for opening the case file.
Iteze, who is a staff of the National Obstetric Fistula Centre, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, called on the appropriate authorities to assist his family in bringing the culprit to answer adequately for the crime so as to serve as deterrent to others. He also appealed for the Government’s assistance in the treatment of the girl so that the abuse would not result to any future deformity in the little girl.
Meanwhile, when Nigerian tribune reporter tactically inquired from the abused minor, she simply said “Brother Ernest came into our house an he put his urinary anus in my own urinary anus and I started feeling pains and was crying but he kept pushing .” she innocently expressed.