BY AGNES NWORIE, ABAKALIKI
Three pupils of Abarigwe Amoffia Ngbo Community Primary School in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State have been raped by a 30-year-old bricklayer, John Icha.
Icha, a resident of the community, was dragged before the Ebonyi State Family Law Centre, Abakaliki for allegedly having unlawful carnal knowledge of minors (names withheld), aged seven, four and eight years old on September 14, 2021.
The eight-year-old girl, narrating their ordeal in her local language, said that “John Icha always forces himself on us whenever we go to fetch fire from their fireplace. He threatens that if we tell anyone about the incident he would kill us.
“Now, the private part of my four-year-old sister, as well as mine, seems to have been affected. We are feeling so much pain, with my sister’s stomach swelling.”
Chairman of the Ebonyi State Family Law Centre, Elizabeth Nwali, said that she transferred the matter to the state police command for lacking competent jurisdiction to adjudicate over it.
Nwali, while indicating in a petition addressed to the Commissioner of Police in the state, Aliyu Garba, that the centre could not go ahead with the case, called for proper investigation and prosecution of the defendant if found guilty of the allegations.
She wrote, “The second petitioner’s parents discovered the act when she fell ill and had a swollen stomach. The second petitioner, after being rushed to the Ezzangbo General Hospital, was diagnosed to have bruises and infection on her private part due to the act.
“Upon confrontation of the respondent, he further threatened to kill anyone who revealed such and further denied blatantly. We passionately appeal to you to use your good office to arrest and bring the culprit to book.”
In an interview with the father of two of the victims, Onwe Johnpaul, he decried the attitude of the suspect, saying that the minors were in a dismal state of health.
He urged the police to be professional in the investigation in order to ensure that the minors get justice.
“I am pleading with the Commissioner of Police and the judiciary to guarantee justice for the minors.
“This man brutally raped the innocent children and threatened to kill them if they opened up to anyone. The man should be compelled to take up the medical bills of the children. They require quality medical attentions and I don’t have money to continue to do it.
“My greatest worry is the effect of his untoward act on the sexual and productive lives of the girls. The question is whether the girls will still be able to bear children in future or not. They require proper medical care to correct the health problem.”