Gist: Injustice,guys who gang-raped girl set free from police custody.  (Read 4167 times)

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Hawawu (full name withheld), the 16 year-old daughter of a struggling bricklayer, was gang-raped by four boys in Agbado-Oja community in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State.

According to report, on that fateful day, the evening of March 30, Hawawu, an apprentice tailor had received a call from her male friend, Adeleke whom she had a soft spot for. He reportedly invited her for a meeting in his house. On getting there, she was said to be reluctant in going into the house but she later succumbed. Shortly after, Adeleke and three of his friends dragged her into his room after which four of them allegedly took turns raping her.

Later that night, they were said to have dragged the now half-conscious girl writhing in pains all the way down the staircases in the storey building then dumped her in front of her ramshackle house on 4, Isanmi Street in the Adubo-Agopani area of Agbado-Oja.
The next morning, her traumatized father, Mr. Olarenwaju headed for the palace of the Baale (local chief), Sunday Oyeogun, to report the matter. Th Baale then summoned the parents of the accused boys but rather than apologise for their action and extend care to the victim, they allegedly 'gathered' N200, 000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) and brought to the Baale to 'kill' the case which according to him, he refused and directed that the girl be treated as a matter of urgency before any other discussion. He also advised the victim's father to report the case at the Divisional Police Headquarters in the area.
One Alaba, a police officer attached to the Juvenile, Women and Children's Unit, was assigned the case as the Investigating Police Officer (IPO).

A source who pleaded anonymity for fear of being harassed by the police said, "Alaba ensured that the girl was taken to the Sarabis Medical Centre in the Odo-Oba area of the community, and also got the boys arrested. But shortly after, he called Mr. Olarenwaju and asked him to withdraw the case. When Mr. Olarenwaju protested the idea of what seemed a miscarriage of justice, Alaba slapped him and handcuffed him, 'rough-handling' him at the police station. The poor man thereafter kept mute and offered no more resistance."

As if that was not enough, Hawawu was intimidated by the police to sign an undertaking that she had withdrawn the case and would forever keep sealed lips over it and by Nigerian and international laws, anyone under the age of 18 is considered not qualified to sign undertakings or agreements. The culprits were thereafter freed unconditionally.

The hospital where she was treated also raises a number of questions as sources in the community claim Mr. Amodu is a psychiatrist and not a general practitioner and that it is common knowledge that the police always insists on referring rape and other related cases in the community to Sarabis because the two - the hospital and the police- allegedly shares the N20, 000 fee for 'medical report' on a 50/50 ratio.

Dr. Amodu would not confirm or deny anything, instead, directing the reporter to the police.

At the Divisional Headquarters, neither the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) nor the IPO, Alaba was available for comments.

Hawawu has fled her community and attempts to trace her has so far failed.


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