A chemist in Otuocha, Anambra State, identified as Onwuegbuka, has allegedly attempted to wriggle out of prosecution for alleged sexual harassment of an eight-year-old girl.
Onwuegbuka was arrested by the police from the Otuocha division for the offence, but was allegedly released after spending two days in detention and paying N150,000 to the victim’s father, Judan Ekendo.
The money was said to be part of the N200,000 the chemist’s family promised to pay Ekendo to settle the case at the police station.
It was said that the division had also agreed to put the matter to rest. It was learnt that the victim had taken ill on Sunday, January 21, and was sent to Onwuegbuka to buy drugs prescribed her by a doctor.
Onwuegbuka reportedly flipped her skirt up and inserted a finger in her private parts.
He was said to have warned her not to divulge what transpired to anybody as the girl returned home in pains.
The girl, however, revealed the incident to her grandmother, who informed her father.
An indigene of the community, Euphemia Udanoh, said she sounded the alarm over the incident when she learnt the case was about to be swept under the carpet.
She said, “An eight-year-old girl was molested by a man who runs a medicine store. He calls himself a pharmacist. The girl had gone to his shop to get treatment as directed by her father.
“When she got there, the man molested her. He used his finger to penetrate her private parts and told her not to tell anybody. He did not even give her the medication she came for. She started crying and went home.
“She told her grandmother what happened and her father confronted the man. He (Onwuegbuka) begged him not to make it public and promised to pay for her treatment. The father accepted the settlement, but when the chemist did not come forth to redeem his promise, he reported the case to the police and he was arrested. The girl’s mother passed on two years ago.”
Udanoh, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, explained that while the chemist was in detention, his family and some villagers started to intervene in the matter and prevailed on the victim’s father to withdraw the case.
She urged the state police command to thoroughly investigate the case and get justice for the girl, adding that a Superintendent of Police had shown interest.
She said, “They begged the father to accept a settlement of N200,000. The chemist’s family paid N150,000 to commence treatment on the girl with the expectation that when they pay the remaining N50,000, the case will be closed. The police collected N70,000 from him and released him on bail.
“When the case was brought to my attention at this stage, I said such a settlement would not happen. You don’t settle a case like this with money. Whatever money that is paid is for the girl’s treatment. The culprit has to face the wrath of the law.”
A rights group, Behind Bars Initiative, asked the police to re-arrest the chemist and charge him to court.
The coordinator of the group, Harrison Gwamnishu, said a medical test carried out on the girl at the General Hospital, Onitsha, indicated that there was penetration, but not penile.
He stated that the division denied closing the case and promised to charge Onwegbuka to court on Monday.
“I met with the policemen at the station and the victim’s father to know why he accepted the money from them. He told me that he was under duress and accepted the money to enable him to treat her child who couldn’t sit down due to the injury she sustained and that he didn’t agree to settlement,” he added.
The victim’s father’s line indicated switched off when called on Thursday.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Nkeiruka Nwode, could not be reached on the telephone for comments and she had also yet to reply to a text message sent to her phone.
However, the state Commissioner of Police, Garbar Umar, directed our correspondent to speak with the Divisional Police Officer on the case.
The CP promised to send the DPO’s number to our correspondent, but he had yet to do so as of press time.
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )
Petrol Subsidy Not Completely Gone, Says Minister
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has stated that contrary to popular belief, the federal government has not completely removed petrol subsidy.
Speaking on Channels’ Politics Today, the minister said: “We are still trying to manage this bumpy start. We have not been able to get to that 100 percent removal of subsidy from the foreign exchange end.
“If we were to take it out completely and allow people to access foreign exchange from the parallel market and allow people to import the product, the price of the pump will even be more.
“The Federal Government, knowing the impact it will have on the people, decided that they are still going to manage this situation.”
Speaking on the importation of petrol from Niger, the Minister expressed that the importation of fuel from the Niger Republic is not something Nigerians should be embarrassed about.
He expressed that Nigerians should be proud that the Federal Government is set to resume the importation of petroleum products from its neighbour.
‘Your Report On Lekki Capable Of Setting Nigeria On Fire’ — Lai Writes CNN
JustLai MohammedMinister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has expressed that the CNN report on the Lekki Tollgate shooting of October 20 2020 is capable of setting the country on fire.
Recall that CNN had published an investigative report titled, ‘How a bloody night of bullets and brutality quashed a young protest movement in Nigeria,’ claiming soldiers fired live ammunition directly at protesters at the Lekki toll gate.
But Nigeria’s Minister for Information denied the report of the US-based cable television, calling for a sanction on CNN over the report, adding that the report on the Lekki tollgate incident was highly irresponsible.
Reacting in another story titled, ‘Nigeria threatens CNN with sanctions but provides no evidence Lekki toll gate investigation is inaccurate’, CNN maintained that it stood by its earlier report on the Lekki tollgate incident.
In a petition dated November 23 and addressed to Mr. Jonathan Hawkins VP, Communications, CNN Centre Atlanta, Georgia U.S, the federal government demanded “an immediate and exhaustive investigation into its report on the Lekki Toll Gate incident to determine its authenticity and conformity to basic standards of journalism.”
Lai Mohammed, who signed the petition, said if the US-based media organisation failed to carry out its demand, the Nigerian government will “take any action within its laws’’ to prevent CNN from aggravating the End SARS crisis.
Amaechi Apologises For Abuja-Kaduna Train Breakdown
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has apologised to Nigerians for the breakdown at the Abuja-Kaduna railway which occurred between November 18 and November 20.
The former Governor of Rivers State stated this at the Moniya rail station on Monday while inspecting the ongoing rail project in Ibadan.
Amaechi pointed out that the Chinese have been called to attend to the problem as the federal government does not expect any mechanical fault at this early stage.
Ameachi said, “I want to apologise to Nigerians over what happened at the Abuja-Kaduna rail station.”
“We now have new locomotives, and we’ve called the Chinese because we never expected the mechanical fault at this early stage.”
“On behalf of the Federal Government, the ministry and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), we apologise to Nigerians, and I’ve instructed the NRC to fix it or invite the Chinese.”
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