(Joe Effiong, Gabriel Efo, UYO)
The Akwa Ibom State command of the Nigerian Police has arrested a three-man gang that cajoled, hypnotized and raped a University of Uyo student.
While parading the suspects, James Etim, Utibe Archibong and Mberebong Peter, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Miss Cordelia Nwawe, said that the command had zero tolerance for any of crime and was out to bring same to the barest minimum in the state.
“A three man gang was arrested on the 11th of June 2016, who had engaged in using tricycle to take women within the metropolis and rape such victims. This is a crime we consider a crime against humanity because when you are engaged in sex with another person without the person’s consent, if the person is under age, it is defilement and if she is of age, it is rape,” she said.
It was gathered that the gang carry out their operations by picking up victims in disguise of a commercial tricycle operators, whereas, the driver and other passengers in the tricycle would be members of the gang, which is unknown to the victim.
One of the supposed passengers would speak in a foreign language, claiming to be a foreigner, who came to the country to sell goods. He would then ask for help from other passengers to help him sell the goods promising to give them laptops and phones in return. Once the victim indicates interest, they would be taken to an unknown place where the goods are supposedly stored.
They would then extort from the unsuspecting victim and failure to get enough for their trouble from such victims, they would gang rape them.
Mberebong Peter, the driver of the tricycle, denied joining the rest of the gang to rape the girl but admitted to “only act as the driver that drive them around town to commit the crime and get my share of the money at the end of the operation.”
The victim (name withheld) said; “when they asked me to go and bring money for cleansing and I told them I did not have any money, they said I should get to my hostel and bring to them anything I see, like phones, laptops and jewelleries. They warned me not to tell anyone or I would die, knowing if I told someone, I would be advised not to go back.
She added, “When I returned and could not get enough as they requested, they said they would have to cleanse me by having sex with me. At that point I was already very scared so I was raped by two of them.”
The PPRO however advised members of the public and particularly females, to be careful while boarding any tricycle within the state as to avoid falling victims to these gangs and assure that the command would not rest until such crimes are completely flushed out of the state.