Godwin Tsa Abuja
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has remanded a 48- year-old Civil servant, Alhaji Yusuf Yahaya to the Suleja Correctional centre over alleged case of rape, sexual assault and sodomy committed against his two daughters, a niece and his 10 year-old son.In a -nine count charge marked CR/966/2020, the prosecution alleged that Alhaji Yusuf, a staff with Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), the said offences are punishable under sections 5(1), 1(2) and 20(1) of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015.The defendant who was arraigned before the court by the Inspector General of Police entered a plea of not guilty to all the charges which also includes alleged application of harmful traditional on his children, Rukayyat Yusuf (6 years); Rahama (8) and Hamza (10) without their consent.In addition, Yusuf was charged for gross indecency upon his 16-year-old niece, Rasheedat Ojochide Ali, who is entrusted to him as her guardian, when he threatened and obtained the pictures of her private body (Vagina), whole nakedness and her videos, an offence under section 285 of the Penal Code Law.
Meanwhile, his attempt to secure his freedom suffered a set back as the application prepared by his counsel, Y.S. Agada was found to be improper before the court.Accordingly, Justice K.N. Ogbonaya sitting in the Kubwa division of the court ordered for an accelerated trial and adjourned the matter to November 23, 24, 25 and 26 respectively for trial The Judge ordered that the defendant be remanded in the Suleja Correctional centre pending the adjourned date.According to the charge which was prepared by the prosecution counsel, Ezekiel Rimamsomte, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), accused the defendant of willfully threatened Rasheedat Ojochide Ali, her niece of 16 years old, for sexual offences.The defendant was further charged with intent to commit criminal offence, by raping his niece Rasheedat Ojochide Ali and two of his daughter’s; Rukayyat Yusuf Yahaya,(6 years) and Rahama Yusuf Yahaya (8 years).In count five of the charge, the prosecution alleged that the defendant had on or about February, 2020 till May, 2020; raped his 10 year-old son, Hamza Yusuf Yahaya, through his anus, an offence punishable under section 1(2) of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015.Court documents revealed that his arraignment was instigated by a letter of complaint from the Minsiter of Women Affairs, Senator Pauline Tallen to the Inspector General of Police over the alleged crime.The said letter with reference No: FMWASD/CD/1094/1/2020 and dated July 7, 2020, was signed by Mrs. Jummai Mohammed, a Director, Child Development, on behalf of the Minister.The letter titled, “Official complaint in respect to an alleged case of sexual assault of minors by their Guardian,” chronicled the circumstances that led to filling of the charges against the defendant.It reads: ” I am directed to bring to your notice and refer a case of sexual assault against minors which was brought to the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs on 8th July 2020 by Ijenna Law Partnership who are solicitors to an organization named, ” Healthy and Smart Children Foundation.””In the said letter, it was alleged that Alhaji Yusuf, a Civil servant, who reside at No. 2, 313 Road, Ezzamgbo Close, Federal Housing Authority, Kubwa, Abuja, has being having canal knowledge of his 6-year old daughter, named Maama and his 16 year niece, Rasheeddat, who are under his custody. You may wish to note that these allegation were raised by the wife of the accused, named Fatima, who said Alhaji Yusuf tried to rape her younger sister.”This matter was reported to the Kubwa Police station on 25th June 2020 and after interrogation, the accused was released on 26th June 2020, after an alleged payment of a N500,000 bribe which led to the close of the case as if nothing had happened. “By Friday, all evidence were destroyed and the wife who fled the house, having been persuaded by family and Community members, returned to the house and Alhaji Yusuf are now living normally with a plan to relocate to another environment.You may wish to note that this crime is not only against Maama, Rasheeddat and other members of Alhaji Yusuf family, but against the state, the FCT which the Child Right Act (CRA) is in place to protect the best interest of the child, who is defined in the CRA, 2003 as any person below the age of 18 years.In view of the foregoing, I wish to request that that case is re-visited by arresting Alhaji Yusuf as a matter of urgency for his alleged crime, and if found guilty should face the wrath of the law to serve as a deterrent to others.”