An eight-year-old minor was allegedly raped by one Baffa Ado, 50 years and Usman Musa Lampo, 20 years in Bolewa “A” ward in Potiskum Local Government Area of Yobe State.
One of the victim’s relations, Bala Tiyande popularly known as Balarabe, explained that the victim was raped after she was sent to fetch water from the neighbouring house on Saturday 27th of June 2020.
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“The girl said after her mission to get water in the first house had failed, a young man forced her into a house and have canal knowledge of her.
“Some hours later, she came out of the house and our mother interrogated her but she refused to confess until she was forced to do so.
“The case was reported to Potiskum divisional office of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps where necessary investigations were carried out and the girl confessed that another 50-year-old man in the area had been serially raping her,” he said.
Tiyande disclosed that: “We were later advised by the SGBV officer in Potiskum to refer the case to the police station for proper prosecution and that was the beginning of my tussle with the CDO.”
“Immediately I told the Civil Defense Divisional Officer in Potiskum of our decision, he said he couldn’t refer the case to the police and suggested that we write a withdrawal letter and ask the police to arrest the suspect.
“But to our dismay, he refused to release the suspect even after we withdrew the case.”
“I was told that the officer was allegedly trying to release the suspect overnight.”
When contacted, the NSCDC Public Relations Officer in Yobe State Command, ASC Bala Garba, denied the allegations and said the personnel were trained on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence related cases.
The PRO said if the Divisional Officer would want to shield the case as alleged, he wouldn’t have arrested the two suspects.
He said SGBV cases are such that cannot be easily handled, adding that there were certain protocols to follow and because of the delay in the procedures, the complainer may be offended.
He explained that the state commandant heard about the case of the alleged rape in Potiskum and asked the CDO to transfer the suspects to the headquarters immediately, adding that they were currently in detention.
“On the issue of case withdrawal, I can categorically tell you that it is not possible and constitutionally immaterial even if the complainer willfully demanded for it, the case is already a criminal case and is in the hands of law, its only the court that can decide on it.
“Based on the medical report we conducted we realized that there was a rape attempt, our role is to properly investigate and refer the case to the court of law to legally investigate,” he added.