*Suspects identified by victim, arrested, arraigned
Police in Edo state has eventually woken up to her responsibilities when they were forced not to bury forcefully the case of the three-year old girl (name withheld) that was raped in the University of Benin Demonstration primary school. The police eventually did identification parade of the males who work in the school.
All the staffers of the school were paraded and pronto, the victim did not do the mistake of picking out her alleged rapist. There are further allegations that the issue of raping children in the school is not new. Others had been treated in-house and buried and the act hasn’t stopped.
In this particular instant, the father was put under pressure by the police to make it look like he raped his own daughter. His house was searched and the kind of leading questions he was asked were annoying.
Continued pressure and protests from the coalition of human rights groups kept the matter on the front burner. Whereas, the school authorities had worked so hard to protect “their image” by wanting the matter to be killed.
Eventually, after the parade when the little girl identified the “uncle” who raped her, the man was picked and the following day was charged to court along side some other teachers. The case which last came up on 10th of January 2017 will resume tomorrow 7th February 2017.
Speaking on phone from Benin-City, Jennifer Eros, the coordination of the Children Rights Network said, “please, join us to ensure that the child like her poor parents get justice. It is not only the rich that should get justice in this country. It should be available to the poor and must also serve as deterrence for the folks who had been involved in the serial raping of little innocent girls.”
Earlier, the police had charged the school to court for negligence on the rape matter without arresting any member of staff for interrogation under the pretext that the school authorities lied that there are no male staffers on their list. This led the Child Protection Network (CPN) to undertake protest marches on the school and police station.
Sadly, the University of Benin and its Vice Chancellor, Prof F. F. O. Orunmwense have pretended they are not aware of the case. They are yet to officially respond to the scandal which has dented the image of the institution.