From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
An NYSC member observing his national service at Asamabiri Community Primary School in Asamabiri community, in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, has absconded over his alleged involvement in the defilement of a 12-year-old pupil.
Jonathan Ogbe, 31, from Kogi State, fled Bayelsa before the end of the service year and has refused to pick up his discharge certificate for fear of being arrested and handed over to the police for investigation.
According to investigations, Ogbe was said to have sexually abused the girl in September 2021, running away when the girl’s parents were not satisfied with his plea for forgiveness and were planning to report him to the police.
NYSC spokesman in the state Matthew Ngobua confirmed that the Corps member has absconded.
Ngobua noted that the disappearance of the Corps member was noticed when the usual practice of the NYSC disciplinary measure of inviting an erring corps member to camp, de-kitt him or her and hand him to the police for investigation.
‘The suspect has abandoned service and all his numbers and that of his next of kin are not reachable. He has not even picked up his discharge certificate for service,’ he said.
The father of the victim, Nelson Gbaranbiri, explained that his wife brought his attention to some strange discharge found in the underwear of his 12-year-old daughter while doing her laundry.
He said that when he reported the matter to the Police, the Police did not show concern until now when he had petitioned the Gender Response Imitative Team (GRIT).
‘My wife brought my attention to the stains and discharges she usually finds in the panties of my daughter. When I asked about what happened to her private part, she told me that ‘uncle’ will beat her. When I reported to the Divisional Police station in Sagbama they asked me to arrest the suspect and bring him to the station. They even demanded that I pay them before they could drive down to arrest the suspect. I also met with the NYSC; they also showed signs of indifference. I have protested now to the GRIT and hope actions would be taken to arrest and prosecute this paedophile,’ the father said.
The Chairperson of GRIT, Dise Ogbise, confirmed that the GRIT has just received the petition and assured that action would be taken.
‘GRIT will reach out to the State Police Command for more updates as we anticipate a prompt response by the Police to the petition already served to them. As GRIT, Bayelsa State, we will not relax and we will give the child all the necessary legal and psychological support needed,’ she said.