From Christopher Oji, Lagos and Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Two persons have been arrested for complicity in the rape of a 15-year-old princess and secondary school student (names withheld) at the palace of the Obi of Idumuje-Ugboko, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State.
The suspects were reportedly arrested at the premises of a Magistrate’s Court in Asaba, Delta State, after several unsuccessful attempts by the police to pin them down.
A source at the state police command headquarters in Asaba said efforts were still on to arrest the principal suspect to unravel the case that has attracted reactions from various segments of the society.
The source said the suspects made statements to the police and have been detained, while investigation continues, adding that the arrests reduced tension in the agrarian community.
Investigation into the case was spurred by a petition written by Walter Eziashi, former President-General of Idumuje-Ugboko Development Union, alleging that, after the rape, some royal princes and others covered up the case after sanctioning the suspect and imposing a fine of four goats and N400,000 on him.
The alarm raised by Eziashi also attracted female lawyers in Nigeria, under the aegis of FIDA, and they called for a thorough investigation to give justice to the teenager.
Public Relations Officer, FIDA, Delta State chapter, Mrs. Stellamaris Mejulu, expressed delight at the arrest of the suspects and urged the police to prosecute all those linked to the case.
Delta police boss, Zanna Ibrahim, who confirmed the arrest, said the suspects were picked for compounding a rape case.
According to him, “The main suspects are at large, but we arrested these two because they compounded the issue by settling a crime using native customs. The law does not recognise such native fines. We have charged them to court.”