From Gyang Bere, Jos
There was disquiet in Abattoir community in Jos, Plateau State, where a 61-year-old Lebanese, Kfouri, was almost lynched for allegedly defiling some teenage girls in the community. Kfouri, a resident in the community for about 13 years, lives on Giring Road, Abattoir, Jos.
It was common for him to invite girls between ages 12 and 16 for menial jobs such as washing of plates, clothes and cleaning in his compound. His randy act was busted on Tuesday, May 13, 2021, when the mother of one of his victims, Iboro, filed a report at the Abattoir Police Station. She alleged that her 14-year-old daughter was sexually molested by the suspect. The woman demanded the arrest and prosecution of the suspect.
Police invited and questioned him but allowed to go unpunished after he pleaded innocent to the charge. It was gathered that soon after the Lebanese returned to his old ways of sexually molesting young girls in the community.
Residents of Abattoir on Wednesday, May 14, 2021, were shocked. They staged a peaceful protest to the Abattoir Police Station to demand for the arrest and prosecution of the Lebanese.
Clement Dalyop, a community leader, who was part of the protest, alleged that more than 20 young girls in the community had come up openly to testify how Kfouri had intimate carnal knowledge of them.
“As we speak now, three of the girls that this Lebanese sexually violated are presently pregnant. The man should be arrested and prosecuted. We cannot count the number of girls that the man has sexually molested, but those who have come out to testify are more than 20 girls.
“We are still appealing to the girls who have had an affair with him to come out voluntarily and testify. As the news of the arrest of the suspect spread within the community, other seven alleged victims of the same suspect – young girls between the ages of 12 to 16 years – came forward to give account of their encounters with the suspect on various occasions and how they were allegedly molested by him.
“The protest by the members of the community led to the re-arrest of the Lebanese. And as the suspect was being interrogated at the police headquarters in Jos over the alleged crime, the pregnant girls were also being medically examined at the police clinic.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Gabriel Ubah, told Daily Sun that the command was investigating the alleged crime of sexual molestation by the foreigner: “The Lebanese has been promptly arrested and brought back to the police.” In the course of preliminary investigation, he denied the accusation.
State chairperson, National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Jennifer Yerima and state deputy chairperson, International Federation of Women Lawyers (IFWL), Obioma Ngozi Achilehwu, staged a walk to the police headquarters, Jos. Yerima said:
“We came to the police headquarters in respect with the case of a Lebanese who has been taking advantage of some minors in the area. Our investigation shows that the man has stayed in Plateau for about 13 years. Most of the young girls are familiar with him. They come around to wash plates and doing menial jobs and get stipends.
“This man takes advantage of the girls, he has raped them and fingered some of them. One of the girls testified that when she was washing the plate, he would come and to finger her. Two of the girls are pregnant at the moment.”
Some angry youths in the community stormed the houses of the suspect and that of his neighbour, another Lebanese, and destroyed them. Extensive damages were done to both houses and some valuables were stolen.
Commissioner of Police, Edward Ebuka, warned against the use of self-help by the public. He appealed that any infraction of the law should be promptly reported to the police even as he promised that such matter would be dealt with judiciously and transparently.