6 January 2013

Nigeria: Sexual Assault - Another Child Falls Victim

There seems to be no end to stories of child molestation and rape. When perpetrators of these acts escape the law or are allowed to walk away with just a slap on the wrist, such crimes will continue to occur unabated. Recently, one of such ugly incidents happened again, when a middle-aged man, in a bid to satisfy his crude and unholy sexual orgy, lured his victim in the manner of a pedophile, to his room to do indescribable things to her. This happened in the busy town of Mararaba, Nasarawa State.

"I did not expect somebody of that age to do such a thing to little girls. I don't even know if he has a family. He is a disgrace to old age," cried Mrs. Ojele Andrew, mother of the 8-year- old girl (name withheld) who was defiled recently by 52-year-old Sadiq.

Mr. Sadiq was arraigned in the Upper Area Court, Mararaba, Nasarawa State on November 28, 2012 on a two-count charge of criminal force on a female with intent to outrage modesty and criminal intimidation to which the accused pleaded guilty. Mrs. Ojele Andrew, mother of the victim who lives in the old Customs Quarters in Mararaba, had reported the case at the division A police station, Mararaba.

According to the report, on September 29, 2012 at about 7:30pm, Mr. Sadiq lured her daughter into his room and forcefully began to finger her vagina. When he was done with his dirty deed, he allegedly threatened the little girl, telling her that he would kill her if she mentioned the incident to her mother.

When he eventually released her, she fled to her mother and told her what happened. Mrs. Ojele immediately went to the Police and had the man arrested. No one knew if he had done more than just fingering the little girl as Mrs. Ojele has remained mum on the details of the matter.

However, Mrs. Ojele told LEADERSHIP SUNDAY that she had recently moved to that area and does not know who Sadiq really is. She felt that someone his age would not be given to commit such an abominable act with a little girl. When the charges against him were read to Mr. Sadiq in court, he pleaded guilty to fingering the girl much to the disgust of everyone in court.

The prosecutor of the case, Inspector A. Abu had prayed the court to convict the accused. "In view of the accused's admission to the charges against him, I pray that the court gives the accused a summary trial and be convicted according to section 157 of the Penal Code."

The court, which was presided over by Hon. Gahemba, found the accused guilty as charged and sentenced him to six months imprisonment on each of the 2-count charge or to pay a fine of N3,000 for each charge- a total of 12 months imprisonment with the option of a fine of N6000 naira.

Since the incident happened in September, Sadiq has been in Police custody and will remain there until he pays his fine or the case is appealed.

The admission of the crime further annoyed the mother of the little girl and after the court session, she told her prosecutor that she wanted to sue the man again. It seemed that N6,000 fine was not satisfactory to her. She showed receipts of the medical treatment that the little girl had been undergoing at the Nyanya medical hospital since the incident.

She was going to demand more money from the accused as the N6,000 fine was not equivalent to the amount she had spent treating her daughter and it definitely could not compensate the trauma that the little girl was going through.

Sadiq himself did not make any comment after the judgement was passed and he was taken back to the prison van that was waiting for him outside the court room. A man his age is presumed to have children and probably grandchildren and the little girl he violated is young enough to be his granddaughter.

What could have been the attraction to a young girl for Sadiq? Was it that mature women had ceased to exist that he will turn to little children for his sexual satisfaction? It is no longer safe to let little girls walk around on their own unlike in the old days.

Incidents of little girls being violated rise by the day. Stricter sanctions should be meted out to those who violate underage girls.

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