A non-governmental organisation, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) has called on Osun State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Ige, to order the re-arraignment an Islamic cleric, Habeebullah Abdul-Rahman, popularly known as Al-Edewy, in Ede area of the state who allegedly raped a 16-year-old girl (name withheld).
The group which made the call in a press release issued by its Executive Director, Okechukwu Nwanguma, noted that the offence of rape must be included in the charge already preferred against the defendant.
“The attention of RULAAC has been drawn to the charge sheet dated July 3, signed by one C. Okafor which was used to arraign the Islamic scholar, Habeebullah Titilope Abdul-Rahman, before an Ede Magistrate’s Court, Osun State for allegedly raping a 16-year old girl sometime in April 2019.
“Despite the allegation of rape, among other crimes, clearly stated in the petition to the police which were restated in the statements variously made to the police by the victim, her mother and brother and which was not denied by the accused, the police decided to downplay the enormity of the crime by arraigning the alleged rapist on 3 count charge of ‘kidnapping’ the underage girl, ‘unlawfully taking her away against the will of her parents, with intent to carnally knowing her’, and ‘unlawful and indecent assault by touching her breast,’ all contrary to and punishable under the Criminal Code of Osun State, 2002.
“‘It is surprising that nowhere in the charge sheet did the police mention rape which is the primary and most egregious of the several crimes allegedly committed against the innocent young girl by the alleged rapist who has three wives,” the press release read in part.
Al-Edewy was arrested by the police on July 1and arraigned before the court on July 4, following a petition written by a lawyer, AA Maisolati, to the state Commissioner of Police, Ige, on behalf of the teenager, detailing how she was allegedly lured from Ede to Ilaro in Ogun State before being raped.
The petition, dated June 13, explained the circumstances which made the girl, a Junior Secondary School (JSS 3) student, to become victim of rape in the hands of Al-Edewy, who is said to have three wives.