If truly, as someone once claimed, statistics are a sign, then in Bauchi State, which, at the time of this report, has 539 COVID-19 confirmed cases, rape incidences especially by pedophiles have now turned into something of an epidemic.
With about 30 female victims affected, in the past four months, April to July, majority of them minors and, with over 50 suspects arrested by officers and men of Bauchi State Police Command in what qualified to be codenamed Operation Sweep, there is, perhaps, no better word to use to describe the worrisome development. In one of the infamous cases, one of the suspects admitted raping eight minors! In another case, a six-year-old male kid became a victim. Talk of a state being turned into a devil’s workshop by a bunch of criminals!
A graph of the incidents
Doctors handling the cases are said to have examined and confirmed injuries in the minors’ genitals to be consistent with acts of rape. And, right now the suspects allegedly behind the evil deed are said to be behind the bars at the state’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID). There, they are currently being interrogated.
Speaking on the development, the Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Lawan Tanko Jimeta, told Saturday Sun that between April and July 22, 2020, the state recorded over 30 cases of rape in various local governments areas. But the worse-hit, he added, were Tafawa Balewa, Alkaleri, Misau, Warji and Bogoro LGAs where rapists violated over 20 minors between the age of 3 and 13.
The incredible case of infamous Amos
Of the lot, the most notorious is Gwanda Amos, 25, said to have raped eight of those victims. He admitted that much in a chat with our correspondent. Before mounting up operations that eventually led to his arrest, Jimeta stated that the command received several complaints of his devilish activities in Tafawa Balewa LGA, most of which took place in April. Determined to terminate his criminal enterprise, he reportedly ordered officers and men from the Tafawa Balewa Police Division to do everything possible, pull out all stops, to see that he was arrested to answer for his crime. On June 1, 2020, he fell into police dragnet.
Names of the girls violated by the rapist were given as: Hadasa Taimako, 7; Alisan Amos, 4; Gyalchong Joshua, 5; Precious Dintuyi, 5; Luchong Habila, 4; Asaneth Fhug, 5; Jakile Dinka, 4 and Rachael Yohanna, 8. “The kids used to cry of pains in their genitals whenever their mothers are bathing them,” Jimeta said. “Upon inquiries, it was discovered that they had been raped. They also noticed injuries in their private parts consistent with forced penetration.”
Teenager, abducted, drugged, gang-raped
While this was on, another incident occurred on April 16, 2020, when one Kabiru Saleh, also 25, of Yelwa Makaranta in Ningi Local Government Area and three others criminally conspired and abducted one Oluchi Cobin, 17, drugged and gang-raped her for six days. The other suspects are: Abubakar Mohammed, 27; Abdullahi Abdullahi, 28 and Christopher Luka, 26. They have all been arrested, Jimeta assured.
Litany of cases in June
About two months later, on June 17, 2020, Danjuma Abdullahi of Tilden Fulani, Toro LGA reported at a police station in Toro the rape of his young daughter, Amina, 5. According to him, his wife, Abida Mohammed observed some abnormality in their daughter’s way of walking. And when she queried her on what was wrong, she narrated to her how an unnamed man took her into an uncompleted building and forcefully had carnal knowledge of her. Medical examination afterward confirmed the rape.
Two days after the incident, on June 19, 2020, one Mohammed Yahaya, 37, from Dagauda town stormed Dambam Police Station to lodge a complaint of rape against Rilwani Adamu, 17. He allegedly raped his daughter, Fatima, 10. According to the report, the girl, in the company of two of her friends named Uwale and Abba went to a bush located within the town to fetch firewood when Rilwani who is strongly suspected to have been stalking the girl for a long time lured her to a nearby river and forcefully had intercourse with her.
On June 25, 2020, one Emmanuel Steven, 33, from Ungiwanlaka Ward, Toro LGA, reported to the police of how a co-tenant, one Masud Abdullah allegedly took his 13-year-old daughter into an uncompleted building in the same compound and raped her.
Rampant incidents in July
As if these were not enough evil, on July 9, 2020, one Lawal Audu of Tudun Wada Village, Warji LGA reported to Warji Police Station that one Mohammed Kamalu of Sanganya Tundun Wada raped his daughter, Zulai Audu, 4. He was said to have carried out the heinous act in an empty shop located in front of his house. On receiving the report, the police moved in and arrested him. His victim was rushed to General Hospital in Warji for necessary medical examination and attention.
The following day, July 10, one Samuel John of Jalong Boi, Bogoro LGA reported at Bogoro Police Station about his daughter, Nenpan Ezra, 10, being sexually violated, on July 9, by Hassan Ibrahim, 28, of Unguwan Tudun Wada Bot town. According to him, Nenpan had gone for a church programme in the company of his friends when he took advantage of the opportunity to lure her away to his house and had carnal knowledge of her. On July 10, he was arrested while the victim was rushed to hospital.
Two days later, on July 12, one Musa Gyara of Gyara Village, Itas/Gadau LGA ran to the police station to report catching one Mohammed Yakubu, 22, having an anal sex with his son, Hamza Musa, 6. Again, the suspect was promptly arrested while the victim was rushed to the General Hospital Itas, for medical treatment.
On the same day, July 12, one Malam Usman Mohammed reported, at Dewu Police Station, one Abubakar Mohammed, 25, of Riban Garmu village, Kirfi LGA. He accused him of raping two daughters of one Dahiru Aliyu: Balikisu Dahiru, 11, and Sakina Dahiru, 13.
The incident reportedly occurred when the two girls, returning from an errand, took a road behind the Dispensing Health Centre in Riban Garmu village. It was dark and raining. But no sooner had they done so than Abubakar who obviously had been trailing them, grabbed them from behind, covered their mouths to prevent them from shouting and, subsequently, raped them. Like in other rape cases, the two victims were rushed to hospital after the incident for examination and treatment. Arrested, the suspect confessed to the crime.
On July 14, one Abdullahi Saulawa, 60, of Unguwan Baba, Alkaleri stormed the police station in Alkaleri to report one Hassan Suleiman, 20 of luring his daughter, Amina, 7, into an uncompleted building where he subsequently had her raped. The victim was rushed to hospital while the suspect was promptly arrested following the report.
On July 16, the security committee attached to Ungiwar Hardo brought one Saleh Hassan, 29, to the township police station and handed him over to the police for luring one Mariya Ummi Sule, 5, into his room where he raped her.
Victims’ relatives express horror, disappointment
Speaking on the infamous Amos’ case, one of his victims’ mothers, Mrs. Roseline Taimako told Saturday Sun how shocked she was and how terrible she felt over the horrible act of a man who everybody regarded as a neighbour and who the eight victims know and addressed as ‘Uncle.’ But it is inconceivable to think that it is the same man who the innocent children so honour and respect that would lure them into his room and have carnal knowledge of them.
“This is why I and the other victims’ mothers marched to Tafawa Balewa Police Station to petition the state Commissioner of Police over the act, in April 2020. And, on June 1, police detectives who had been on the lookout for him because he initially evaded capture grabbed him. And, truly, since after his arrest, raping incidents have reduced drastically within the Tafawa Balewa environs.”
Suspects admit guilt, confess crime
In an encounter with our correspondent, the suspect, Amos, opened a window not only into the incident but also into his life history. His narrative: “I attended Lushe Primary School and Babantanko Secondary School Bauchi State but dropped out in SSS 3 in 2009. I am a welder by profession. My parents have five children and I am the second. My father is dead while my mother is still alive and I am yet to marry.
“Truly, I raped about eight little girls in my room. We are family members and neighbours. I usually do so when their parents had gone to the farm. I didn’t give them anything. I only carried them to my room and ordered them to remove their pants and then I raped them. It was when the victims mentioned my name that I was arrested by policemen from Tafawa Balewa Police Division. I have already confessed to them. Whenever I rape a victim, I always warn them not to tell anybody. I used to threaten that I would kill them if they do so.”
Another suspect, Kabiru Saleh, said: “I hail from Ningi LGA of Bauchi State. We are four gang-members who drugged Oluchi. We abducted her and kept her in my Uncle’s house for six days and four of us raped her until my uncle, Nasiru Saleh, came back from a journey. He saw where we kept her and immediately rescued her and took her to her parents. That’s how they reported the case at Tafawa Balewa Police Station. I was arrested along with other gang members and we have confessed our evil act.”
Police give assurance
As an update, CP Jimeta promised to work with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Bauchi State chapter, in the campaign against rape and other related offences. He reassured the body of the state police command commitment to arrest and investigate rape and other forms of gender-based violence. To this end, he called on the people of the state to stop concealing information that may be useful to the police, assuring that all the suspects will soon be charged to court.