The Village Head of Dan Gulam in Gwaram Local Government Area of Jigawa State, Umar Ibrahim, has been accused of raping and impregnating one Hanatu Yahaya (not her real name), infecting her with HIV in the process.
This was contained in a letter (dated October 16, 2023) to the Secretary of Dutse Emirate Council, Dutse Emir’s Palace, by Senior State Counsel in Jigawa State Ministry of Justice, Kabiru Abdullah Esq., with the title “Notification of arraignment of Umar Ibrahim (Village Head of DanGulam) on the offence of rape contrary to section 3 (1) (A and D) of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law 2021”.
But the monarch denied the allegation in an interview with our correspondent.
Reports indicated that there was pressure on the emirate to sweep the issue under the carpet despite appeals and the state government intervention through the office of the Attorney General in the state.
According to the letter, the village head claimed to have initiated a defamation of character suit against the girl, her father, and one Sule Umar of Dangulam village before Upper Shari’a Court Gwaram.
Investigation by the Criminal Investigation Department of Jigawa State Police Command reportedly established criminal conspiracy and rape cases against Umar Ibrahim.
The letter read, “I have been directed by the Hon. Attorney General of Jigawa State to write and notify your Highness that, a complaint of rape and infection with HIV was lodged at the Office of the Hon. Attorney General by one Ya’u Muhammad ‘m’ in which he alleged that Umar Ibrahim (Village Head of Dan Gulam) had engaged his daughter in an illegal sexual intercourse which resulted in her pregnancy and infected her with HIV.
“Upon receiving the complaint, parties were invited and in the course of discussion with the Hon. Attorney General, Umar Ibrahim (the village head) revealed that he had filed a case of defamation against the girl, her father, and one Sule Umar of Dan Gulamvillage before Upper Shari’a Court Gwaram.
“The Attorney General directed for the case at Upper Sharia Court Gwaram to be taken over and all parties were referred to state CID Dutse for investigation of the two cases.
“After the investigation by the police at state CID, the case diary was sent to the Ministry of Justice for legal advice.
“The legal advice was given and it revealed that prima facie case of criminal conspiracy and rape were made against Umar Ibrahim who to the Hon. Attorney General’s greatest dismay is a traditional leader as village head of Dan Gulam, Gwaram Local Government Area, Jigawa State.
“In view of the above fact and that he will soon be arraigned before court for prosecution and to avoid arraigning him as a traditional leader.
“It is based on the foregoing fact that the Hon. Attorney General/Commissioner of Justice directed me to write and notify Your Highness of the position of the case for appropriate steps to be taken”.
Meanwhile, the family of the affected girl is calling on civil society and non-governmental organisations to intervene in the matter to save the girl’s life and to ensure justice is served following the provision of the VAPP Law 2021 of Jigawa State.
However, the village head said he was not responsible for the girl’s pregnancy.
He said the initial case was not rape, but an issue over a portion of land he allocated to the former chairman of the local government.
“They are trying to blackmail me. That is why they falsified the allegation that I impregnated. I didn’t know the girl, I have never met her even once in my life.
“I have HIV for the past 10 years when I married an infected widow. That is why they are saying I infected that girl, but I swear I didn’t do it.”