Makurdi — A 60-year-old patent medicine dealer who allegedly defiled a four-year-old girl in Otukpo Town in Benue State at the weekend narrowly escaped being lynched by an angry mob.
The suspect, Clement Ikechukwu Ogenyi, now in police custody, was believed to have lured the minor into his room and had carnal knowledge of her.
Our correspondent gathered that the victim was earlier sent to buy Vitamin C tablets from the suspect's medicine store close to her home when the incident happened.
The relative said, "When the girl came home on Tuesday, we discovered she was walking funny. So, I took her inside my house and checked her. She revealed to me that Ikechukwu, popularly known as Ad'Igbo (Baba Igbo) kissed her and touched her private part with his penis."
She added that the alleged rapist, when confronted, denied, stressing that the delay in reporting the matter to the vigilante on Friday was as a result of intervention by a friend of the suspect who wanted a medical examination carried out on the victim.
Our correspondent further learnt that soon after the matter became public knowledge, an angry mob almost lynched the suspect as further revelations suggested that he had molested other minors in the neighbourhood.
Spokesperson of the police in the state, DSP Catherine Anene, confirmed that the suspect was already in the custody of the police in Otukpo.
DSP Anene said the suspect would be transferred to the command's headquarters as soon as possible.