Three men have allegedly gang raped a 15-year-old girl in Abagana, a community in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria’s South-east.
The police spokesperson in the state, Tochukwu Ikenga, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.
Mr Ikenga, a deputy superintendent of police, said police operatives arrested the suspects on 8 July during a routine patrol with some vigilante operatives in the community.
He gave the suspects’ names as Chimezie Odugwu, 21, Nnamdi Anodebe, 19, and Jude Onua, 48.
The police spokesperson said the suspects confessed that two of them, Messrs Odugwu and Anodebe —- collaborated to lure the victim to their house when they found her wandering at a junction in the community and subsequently raped her.
The victim later left in tears before Mr Onua, the third suspect, on the pretext of sheltering her, brought her to his apartment, where he raped her again.
The police and vigilante operatives would later rescue her.
The latest incident came days after PREMIUM TIMES reported that a 19-year-old girl was gang-raped by six men in Anam, a community in Anambra West Local Government Area of the state.
The six people who allegedly participated in the gang rape have since been arrested, while three other suspects, said to have taken part in the crime, were still on the run, according to the police.
Another rape incident
Mr Ikenga said, in a separate development, police operatives from Ekwulobia Divisional Headquarters arrested a man who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in Ekwulobia Community, Aguata Local Government Area of the state.
The suspect, Chinenye Ezemehege, 41, a security guard at the community’s market, claimed that he had been paying the minor between N500 and N1,000 for “her service,” Mr Ikenga said.
“Preliminary information revealed that the girl’s parents normally send her to get firewood at the Ekwulobia Market before she fell prey to the suspect,” the police spokesperson added.
More rape case
Mr Ikenga said in another operation, police operatives from Atani Divisional Headquarters on 13 July arrested a 38-year-old man for his alleged rape of a 12-year-old girl, which was reported to the police on 28 August 2022.
The suspect, Odimako Ikenga, who hails from Ossomala, a community in Ogbaru Local Government Area of the state, had been on the police wanted list in an ongoing investigation into the rape of the girl, according to the police.
The Commissioner of Police in Anambra State, Aderemi Adeoyi, has commended the police and vigilante operatives for their efforts in arresting the suspects, Mr Ikenga said.
Mr Adeoyi expressed his determination to tackle the rising cases of sexual crimes and gender-based violence in Anambra State, maintaining that he would track down sexual offenders, especially those who violate minors in the state.
The police commissioner said the suspects would be arraigned as soon as investigations were concluded.
Prohibited in Nigeria
Nigeria, in 2015, enacted the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, which outlawed all forms of violence against women and girls, including rape and female circumcision.
Offenders, on conviction, face life imprisonment or a maximum of 14-year jail term, depending on the offender’s age and the type of violence committed.
Also, Nigeria’s Criminal Code Act, which is applicable in Southern Nigeria, outlawed rape.
Section 358 of the Act prescribes life imprisonment for rape offenders on conviction.
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