A member of the National Youth Service Corps attached to the Asamabiri Community Primary School in Asamabiri community, Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Jonathan Ogbe, has allegedly defiled a 12-year-old pupil of the school and abandoned from the state.
It was gathered that Jonathan Ogbe, a 31-year-old and indigene of Kogi State who has one Victor Iko-Ojo Achema as his next of kin, with the NYSC call up number as NYSC/ABU/2020/113131, abandoned service and has since refused to pick up his discharge certificate to avoid being de-kitted and handed over to the Police for investigation.
The incident, which occurred last September is however provoking members of the Civil Society groups, Gender-based advocacy groups and indigenes of the community over the alleged “foot-dragging” of the gender unit of the Bayelsa Police Command to effect the arrest, investigation and prosecution of the accused corps member.
The accused corps member was said to have lured the 12-year-old girl(name withheld), who is a pupil in the community primary school to his house and defiled her repeatedly without the knowledge of the parents.
According to the father of the victim, Nelson Gbaranbiri, his wife brought his attention to some strange discharge found in the panties of his daughter while doing her laundry.
He said, “My wife brought my attention to the stains and discharges she usually finds in the panties of my daughter. When I asked about what happened to her private part, she told me that ‘uncle’ will beat her.”
Gbaranbiri also claimed that when he reported the matter to the Divisional Police Headquarters in Sagbama, they did not show concern about the incident.
He claimed, “They asked me to arrest the accused and bring him to the station. They even demanded that I pay them before they can drive down to arrest the suspect. I also met with the NYSC, they also showed signs of indifference. I have protested now to the Gender Response Initiative Team and hoping actions would be taken to arrest and prosecute this paedophile.”
In the petition forwarded to the State Police Commissioner and dated 3rd September 2021, the counsel to the victim’s family, A.O.Aniso Esq, stated, “When the accused corps member was confronted with the victim’s claim, he admitted being responsible and pleaded for forgiveness. Seeing that the minor was physically distressed and needed medical attention, the parents took her to the community medical centre and their worst fears were confirmed.
“After the medical confirmation, the family again confronted the corps member of his wrongdoing and he apologize profusely even offering N50, 000 to cover the medical treatment. This is a criminal act and he has brought great shame to my client’s family.”
Reacting to the copy of the petition made available to the State Gender Response Initiative Team (GRIT), the Chairperson, Barr. Dise Ogbise confirmed that the GRIT had received the petition and assured that they will reach out to the State Police Command for more updates as they anticipate a prompt response by the Police to the petition already serve them.
Though the NYSC authority in the state and the Nigerian Police were accused of “foot-dragging” over the case, the NYSC through its spokesman in the state, Mr Mathew Ngobua, denied the claim as he confirmed that the accused corps member had absconded.
“The accused has abandoned service and all his numbers and that of his next of kin are not reachable. He has not even picked up his discharge certificate for service,” Ngobua said.