Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
A 60-year-old man, Ikechukwu, escaped lynching by the whiskers in Otukpo, Benue State, for allegedly raping a four-year-old girl.
Daily Sun gathered that the minor was sent to buy drugs from the suspect, who runs a patent medicine store within the same neighbourhood, when he lured her into his room and assaulted her sexually.
But a relation who noticed that the minor was walking awkwardly soon after she returned from buying the medicine probed further by asking her questions and checking her private parts.
The source said: “When the girl came home on Tuesday, we discovered she was walking funny. So, I took her inside my house and checked her after she revealed to me that Mr Ikechukwu, popularly known as Ad’Egbo,’ kissed her mouth and touched her private part with his penis.
“Immediately, I went to confront him (Ikechukwu) but he denied. That was since Tuesday last week.
“His friend, Mr Acha, is the reason why the issue had delayed till today. Acha came to plead with me that he was going to talk to his friend, so that we will all go to the hospital and do the necessary medical tests but he has refused since then. So I decided to report the matter to the vigilance group at Igbanonmaje on Friday.”
Some neighbours also hinted that the suspect had been in the habit of sleeping with minors for many years now, stressing that nemesis has caught up with him this time around.
Sunday Emmanuel, who lives in the same neighbourhood with the suspect and the victim, came to tell the vigilance group that “this is one of the many cases of sexual assault by Ikechukwu.”
He recalled that in 2002, he fingered his grand daughter, who was only three-years-old then.
He said: “I was so angry to the point that I engaged him in a physical combat. But I told him that nemesis would catch up with him. Now look at where his immorality has landed him.”
However, the head of the vigilante group, Major S. E. Ukwenya (Rtd), directed that the accused be handed over to the police.
When contacted, police public relations officer in the state, Catherine Anene, confirmed the report, adding that the suspect was already in the custody of the police.
Daily Sun observed that cases of rape of minors have been on the increase in the state. Last week, 10-year-old, Masengenen Torgba was delivered of a baby girl after she was raped.