10-year-old rape victim vows never to return to school

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Uba Group

BY AGNES NWORIE, ABAKALIKI

A 10-year-old Primary 4 pupil of Akpoha Central School in Ezinwete Ohanwegu Akpoha community, in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, (name withheld) who was allegedly raped by a 24-years-old man, Francis Ikpor, has insisted that under no condition would she return to school, following her rape experience.

The minor, an orphan, was reportedly assaulted around her school while trying to get drinking water for her younger brother who was in the same school with her.

The water in the community had reportedly been polluted as a result of a spillage, which happened.

It was learnt that the victim, who is living with her grandmother, Mrs Orie Enya, in the community, was raped in the second week of May in the compound where she went to fetch drinking water for her younger brother who complained of being thirsty.

The old woman said that the young girl disclosed her experience to her nine days after being raped.

Meanwhile, Mrs Foral Egwu, a Gender Desk Officer at the National Obstetrics Fistula Center, Abakaliki, alleged that the old grandmother learnt of the young girl’s plight days after she noticed that there was blood stain on the victim’s private part as she bent down in the kitchen to make fire.

Egwu lamented the absence of a safe house for victims of molestation, saying that the usual practice was that relatives of the victims would accept compensation from suspects as a means of settlement in order to resolve such cases without involving the court.

She said, “Precisely on 22nd of May this year, the state chairman of the International Federation of Women Lawyers referred the case to me. A young man, Francis Ikpor, raped a 10-year-old primary 4 pupil of Akpoha Central School in Afikpo North LGA. The girl said that her younger brother came to her asking for water.

“Their school borehole was not functional, so she went to a nearby compound to beg for water during which she was allegedly dragged into the house by the suspect who beat and raped her.”

“Mrs Enya reported to me that as if that was not enough, the suspect’s friends and siblings beat her because she went to their compound to inquire why he beat and raped an orphan with a threat to kill her if she reveals his identity.

“The incident was reported to the police since the second week of the month but no attempt has been made to arrest the suspect,” Egwu added.

As of the time of filing this report, the police had not confirmed the incident.