A 66 year old man , Mr. Sunday Etukudoh from Nnung Ikot Abianga in Oruk Anam Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has been arrested for allegedly raping and impregnating, one Miss Ofonime Saturday Okon, a 13-year-old daughter of his cousin.
Pa Etukudoh was said to have exploited his relationship with the girl’s father to get the victim’s parents put the little girl in his custody, under the guise that he needed somebody to help him with household chores.
Ofonime, a JSS1 student of Southern Annang Comprehensive Secondary School, Ikot Okono, Oruk Anam LGA who is already four months pregnant said she was threatened with a kitchen knife to succumb to the first rape, but added that she continued honouring the man’s subsequent invitations.
When interrogated by the Crime Investigation Department at the police headquarters Ikot Akpanabia, Uyo, Etukudoh who cried, rolling on the floor, admitted to have had sex with his victim four times before the pregnancy and exposure, and promised to take good care of her till delivery.
“I have only two children and I will be very happy if her family would allow her to give birth to this child for me, I will take good care of her, I promise. Please don’t charge me to court, I would die there. I will give them whatever they want”.
Addressing our correspondent, the Akwa Ibom coordinator, National Human Rights Commission, Mr Tony Iji, said that his commission, pursuant to the 2008 Child Right Law of the state, which criminalises defilement of any kind, has been embarking on thorough sensitisation of members of the public. Such public awareness according to him brought the issue involving Etukudoh and Ofonime to the fore.
Iji who hinted that his commission has been on the case for some weeks now, said the decision to refer the matter to the police was to obtain justice for the victim. He however vowed to pursue the matter to a logical conclusion to protect the case from being swept under the carpet.
His words “due to our regular sensitization on the need to report any form of human right violation, family of the victim reported the case to us and we decided to refer it to the police after carrying out necessary investigations, including medicals to ascertain the health condition of the girl. We are ready to partner the police till the end to ensure that this matter is not swept under the carpet”.
When contacted, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of CID, ACP Mike Okoli acknowledged that the crime is receiving attention but however referred our correspondent to the PPRO for further detail.