The Bayelsa State Police Command have arrested three commercial tricycle (popularly known as ‘Keke NAPEP’) drivers over alleged gang rape of an 11-year-old girl in an uncompleted building along the Azikoro village road of the state.
The alleged gang rape, which was carried out a fortnight ago, was reported to the Divisional Police office at Azikoro road after a ‘speak out’ campaign initiated by the Dise Ogbise Foundation (DOF).
The victim, whose name was withheld, was threatened with death by the three tricyclists after she was repeatedly raped.
Though the details of the alleged gang rape were sketchy, the victim revealed the matter to the coordinator of the DOF, Barrister Dise Ogbise-Erhisere, during the speak-up advocacy campaign tour of private and public secretary schools in the state.
Ogbise-Erhisere, a legal practitioner and Chairperson of the Sagbama branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), also confirmed that through the speak-up advocacy campaign, over 20 cases of defilement were discovered.
“The accused tricyclists and others have all been arrested and we hope that they will be prosecuted soon. This incident occurred three weeks ago,” she said.
She said the UNICEF report of 2018 indicated that at least one or more cases of sexual violence by profiles occurred in Bayelsa State daily, with many unreported. The report is further worsened with the fact that the cases between the ages of one month to 17 years declined to speak up, and no report of these cases was made to the relevant agencies for either prosecution or prompt medical attention.
“Another case point is that of a 15-year-old girl who was raped on her way to the market and she kept quiet for over four months because she was threatened with death. The end result is a four-month pregnancy,” she added.
“The Dise Ogbise foundation embarked on the speak up campaign to all schools in Baylesa State. This is indeed a wake-up call that once a child notices any suspected child molesters around them, our advice is for them to speak up and report to the Police. The speak up campaign also deals with cases of those who have been defiled to speak up as silence of our kids is getting from Bad to worst on daily basis.