Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
There is outrage in Bayelsa State over the death of a 13-year-old rape victim, Miss Tarietimi Gana in Yenagoa, the state capital.
In March during the national lockdown, the deceased was said to have been waylaid by the waterside in Ogoibiri community of Sagbama Local Government Area where she had gone to take her birth and was allegedly raped twice by the suspect.
According to the father of the deceased, Pinaowei Gana, the girl did not report that she was raped.
”She kept it to herself and was bleeding little by little. Until two months later, we noticed some strange smell and she complained of serious sickness. We took her to a local massage therapists and he told us that the child has been defiled and infected.”
“We took her back and appealed to her to tell my landlord and some elders the person that defiled her. She now confirmed it was the teacher. We confronted him and he pleaded I should not go to the Police but that he will pay for her treatment and settle with the family. He took her to a private hospital in Opolo where she was admitted for over a week. But he came back and discharged the child without Doctor’s advice and dumped her with me. Two days later, the girl died.”
Mr Gana disclosed that after he raised alarm over the death of her child the suspect and his entire family packed and ran out of the area.
Findings indicated that after Ogun had initially confessed before his family, that of the deceased and the compound chiefs and he even paid the hospital bill of the deceased at a private hospital at Opolo, Yenagoa, he later recanted and alleged that his life was under threat.
Already Civil Society Organizations including the Girl Response Initiative Team set up by the wife of the State Governor, Mrs. Gloria Diri and the DOF Foundation led by Mrs Dise Ogbise-Erhisere have scheduled a meeting with the Bayelsa Commissioner of Police Mike Okoli to demand for proper investigation and arrest of the fleeing suspected rapist.
The groups are said to be miffed that instead of investigating the alleged rape and death of the 13 years old girl, they are busy summoning the deceased father over the trump up charges of alleged treat to life by the accused teacher.
Dise Ogbise-Erhisere in an interview confirmed that the deceased died from complications of rape, noting that everything would be done to get her justice.
“ A crime has been committed and the culprit has admitted to the crime. They need to ensure he is arrested and prosecuted. On the reported petition of the alleged pedophile, the police needs to investigate and determine who is culpable and where is the corpse of the defiled and deceased child.”
She called on the Police authorities to transfer the case from Area command in Sagbama to the State Police headquarters in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital.