Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has called for justice for the 21-year-old girl, Precious Yahaya, who was allegedly raped by her 52-year-old neighbour, identified as Ikemba Iron Bender.
HURIWA, in a statement signed by its National Coordinator on Tuesday, said a team from the human rights group visited the Kabusa Police station in the outskirts of Abuja to ascertain the progress of the investigative activities of the Nigeria Police on the matter.
The group said they happened to meet the 19-year-old girl and her parents at the police station as they waited for the DPO to refer the matter to the state Criminal Investigations Department within the Federal Capital Territory Command.
HURIWA said it also ascertained that the police were with the teenage victim of alleged rape from Saturday when the matter was lodged by neighbours till Monday afternoon.
The group said the police officers said the victim was held back to obtain her medical report because according to them, the police did not want the evidence of the alleged rape to be tempered with if the parents were allowed to go home with her.
The group, however, appealed to the Federal government and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to liaise with the police to facilitate a quick medical examination of rape victims.
HURIWA said keeping a victim of rape in a police station and then detaining the suspect could create the impression that the alleged victim is being criminalized.
HURIWA deciphered that the women police handling the matter are determined that the alleged rapist is prosecuted.
“We express our gratitude to the IPO who told us that she wants to ensure that the accused is not allowed to continue in the abominable act of sexually violating teens in their neighbourhood,” the group said.
HURIWA said it hopes that the “police will under no circumstances compromise this matter of serious sexual violations of a 12-year-old minor by a man old enough to be her Grandfather.”
HURIWA also said it noticed that the community members of the alleged offender were in their numbers at the Kabusa police station apparently seeking a negotiated settlement.
The human rights group called on the Police in the FCT Command to take the matter to its logical conclusion.
HURIWA said it is now in possession of the findings of the ECWA Community Health Initiative which runs ECWA Health Clinic in Kabusa and based on what can be read from the record, dated 22/5/2022 the report affirmed that sperm was found in the teenage girl’s private part and that this was confirmed verbally “by the female police operatives we interacted with who were not happy that the father of the teenage girl did not report the first incident in which the same accused person was suspected to have raped her.
HURIWA said it was also told by the police during the cause of their visit that the police had in its possession photographic evidence of alleged penetration by the accused rapist and that it is awaiting a final copy of the medical examination just as HURIWA is in possession of the laboratory analysis confirming the alleged sexual violations.
“As members of the Human Rights community, we encourage the police to ensure that justice is done even as we make a strong case to the federal government for the massive funding of police in the rural areas so that such cases of sexual violations of children by adults are rapidly attended to,” the group said
“We urge the FCT Police Commissioner to ensure that justice is done to this vulnerable child allegedly raped by this adult who is a father of three children.
“We appeal to the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and the National Human Rights Commission to monitor the progress of this matter to ensure that justice is done.”