Rise in rape, domestic violence cases worry Anambra stakeholders


Stakeholders in Anambra State have decried the rising cases of rape, domestic and gender-based violence in the State.

This is following recent cases of gender-based violence in the State, some of which involved minors, while others resulted in deaths.

Early in the week, the story broke of the defiling of a 13-year-old girl by four men in Nkpor, near the commercial city of Onitsha. The men, who were described as street urchins, were said to have had an altercation with a man in the neighbourhood, who condemned most of their atrocious acts in the area, which included drug abuse, stealing and molestation of young girls.

The men instead of showing remorse over the matter took offence about the temerity of the man in trying to caution them, and decided to visit evil on the man’s daughter, for daring to caution them. The names were given as Sunday, Emelie, Chiedu and Nwa awọ.

The four men had allegedly dragged her to Nkisi river, a popular river in the area, where they first beat her up and told her to comply with their act, leading them to take turns on her.

Three out of the four men were later arrested through the operatives of National Agency For Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) working in collaboration with vigilante operatives.

The victim, who narrated her experience, said she was beaten up by the men, before she was dragged to the area where she was violated by the men. While three of the four men were arrested, the fourth escaped, after operatives of NAPTIP and vigilantes stormed the area to arrest them.

The arrest was done on the instance of the commissioner for women and social welfare, Mrs Ify Obinabo, who has been on the forefront of fighting against gender-based violence.

The victim while narrating her experience to the commissioner said: “I was first slapped by the boys, then dragged to Nkisi before I was ordered to remove my clothes, and the suspects took turns to have carnal knowledge of me.”

Meanwhile, another similar case within the week was that of a native doctor, who was in a relationship with a single mother of two. It was gathered that the native doctor whose name was given as Nonso had promised the 25-year-old lover marriage.

On the faithful day, the native doctor detailed a commercial motorcyclist to bring the woman and her children to his house. They arrived, but could not go back home that same day because it was late. They were to pass the night in the man’s house, when late into the night, he told her he had a surprise for her.

“On that fateful day, the suspect sent a bike man to bring me and the kids to his house. He didn’t allow us to go home that day because it was already late. He later told me that he had a surprise for me, and he used a white handkerchief to blindfold me,” she said.

She said it was at that point that she struggled to know what was happening but unfortunately it was late as the suspect had already brought a knife and started slitting her throat.

The victim further noted that although she struggled for her life, she was overpowered and dragged to an already dug 4-5ft grave at the suspect’s backyard and she was pushed into the grave. She also said that the suspect who threw a big stone over her head went to bring a shovel to cover her, when she started shouting, thereby alerting the suspect’s sister who had long slept off.

According to her, it was the suspect’s elder sister who came to her rescue after she had also alerted members of the public who in turn captured the native doctor, but by then, the bike man who was his accomplice had escaped.

A journalist with Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) who spoke to DAILY POST at the Anambra State press centre of the Nigeria Union of Journalists said she was aware of the matter.

“Incidences of rape are becoming too high in Anambra State. This case of the men who gang-raped a 13-year-old girl should be condemned by all people in society.

“I heard they had an altercation with the father of the girl who was not supportive of their atrocious acts in the community, but instead of taking heed over the advice of the man to them, they decided to deal with him through the daughter. I was so shocked when they were being interviewed, and one of them said he did not participate in the act, but the girl said it was a lie, that he was the second person to rape her. It was so blood chilling,” Eze said.

As Anambra to witness several cases of sexual abuse, domestic and gender-based violence, many have condemned the trend.

But the Anambra State government has vowed to fight the trend to a stand still.

Early August, a similar situation arose in Nnewi, when the chairman of Nnewi North Local Government Area, Hon Mbazulike Iloka was alleged to have beaten his wife to death. Sources had said that the politician was fond of beating up his wife, even though he denied the allegation, insisting that his wife was too priced to him to lay hands on.

But reports showed that the wife who was said to have been manhandled on a Sunday morning had injuries all over her body, including a pronounced head injury, which was a tell-tale sign of violence.

Commissioner, Obinabo who spoke on the matter, said such act would not be condoned by the Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo administration.

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