A thirty-year-old man is now cooling his heels off in police custody in Calabar for allegedly molesting a thirteen-year-old girl.
The man identified as Rowland was arrested by the police from the Akim Division of Cross River State after the girl reported the incident at the police station.
The victim told the police she was returning from school, on Friday, 22 March, when she met Rowland who took her to his house and molested her all-night.
“I was coming back from school and the road was very dark because NEPA took light as rain was threatening to fall and I was afraid of walking the road alone. I had to wait in a nearby shop and while there I saw Rowland who lives close to our house. I told him I was afraid of going back home alone and he assured me he would escort me home. After he bought what he wanted to buy, we set out together towards home,” the teenager said.
According to her, while on their way home, the suspect, who lives just houses away from the 31 Barracks Road where she stays, asked to pick an umbrella at his place in case the rain starts. “And, since it was very dark on the road, he asked me to come to the house and wait while he gets the umbrella. We got to his house, I waited at the door for him to get the umbrella but suddenly he came out and grabbed me and flung me inside his room and shut the door”.
The victim said she screamed for help, no one seemed to hear her. The “man over powered me and used his palm to gag me and sprayed something on me and I became too weak and he raped me several times until I became unconscious”.
Mary said the suspect kept her in his room till the next day. “It was on Saturday morning that I found myself at the staircase to our apartment when neighbours gathered round and woke me to find out why I slept at the steps”.
The girl reported to the police as she recollected events of the previous night. The police however could not locate Rowland until Sunday morning when he was arrested. He said he spent the previous day at a wedding ceremony where he was engaged as a video camera man.
“I was called by my friend Nse who had his wedding on Saturday that his camera man had been arrested and that I should get to Akim Police Division to help secure his bail and when I got there, I discovered that the man was arrested for r*pe, and I am against such acts and rather told the police to charge him to court,” Barrister James Ibor of Basic Rights Counsel Initiative told Sunday Vanguard.
To worsen matters, Ibor said friends of the suspect testified that the “fellow is addicted to r*ping young girls. It is better to put such a person where he belongs- the prison-so that his character could be reformed,” Ibor said.
Confirming the arrest, Cross River State Police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP John Umoh, said the man would soon be charged to court.