By Izunna Okafor, Awka
Anambra State Police Command has apprehended and detained eleven individuals in connection with multiple cases of rape and defilement that recently occured in the State. These arrests mark a significant step towards combating sexual crimes in the state.
It was gathered that some of the suspects are aged 17 years, while one of the victims is aged 13. The 13-year-old girl was allegedly defiled by a ‘security guard’ who would always give her ₦500 after defiling her.
According to a statement obtained by this reporter, Izunna Okafor, and duly signed by the Police Public Relations Officer in the State, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu, the first incident of the various rape and defilement cases gained widespread attention after an explicit video went viral last week showing a group of young men gang-raping a 19-year-old girl in Orama-etiti, Anam, Anambra West Local Government Area of the State.
His statement read: “On 11/7/2023, an obscene video clip that went viral showed a young lady aged 19 years being gang-raped by a group of boys. Investigation revealed that the incident happened at Orama-etiti, Anam. The Police at Otuocha collaborated with the local vigilante in the area and arrested six suspects involved in the criminal act.
“They are Chinua Obikezie aged 17 years old, Collins Ogbodo age 19years, Ifeanyi Chijoke aged 17years old, Abuchi Ikechukwu aged 17years old, Ezenwa Afam aged 18 years, and Sunday Okafor aged 27 years.
“Three other suspects implicated in the ignoble act are still at large. During interrogation, all six suspects confessed to have taken part in the crime.
“In a similar development, Police at Abagana, while on patrol with the local vigilante on 8th July, 2023 arrested three suspects on the allegation of rape of a 15-year-old girl. The suspects are Chimezie Odugwu ‘M’ 21 years old, Nnamdi Anodebe ‘M’ aged 19 years old, and Jude Onua 48 years old.
“From the confession of the suspects, they found the victim wandering at Abagana junction before Chimezie lured her to Nnamdi’s house in the same locality and both had carnal knowledge of her. She left the suspect’s house in tears. And the elderly Jude, on the pretext of sheltering her, brought her to his house and raped her before she was rescued by the Police and Vigilantes.
“In a related development, Police Operatives from Ekwulobia Division arrested one Chinenye Ezemehege aged 41 years in connection to the case of defilement of a 13-year-old girl. The suspect who claim to be a Security Guard at the market confessed to the act and stated that he had been paying the girl ₦500 to ₦1000 for her “service”.
“Preliminary information revealed that the parents of the girl normally send her to get firewood at the Ekwulobia Market before she fell prey to the suspect.
“Police Operatives attached to Atani Division, on 13/7/2023 arrested one Odimako Ikenga ‘M’, aged 38 years of Ossomala Village, Ogbaru LGA. The suspect has been on the Police wanted list in an ongoing investigation of a case of defilement of a 12-year-old girl reported to the Police Station on 28/8/2022.
“The Commissioner of Police has commended Police operatives and vigilantes for being alive to their responsibility to society. He expressed his determination to tackle headlong the menace of sexual crimes and gender-based violence in the State. He has vowed that there would be no hiding place for sexual predators, especially those who prey on minors.
“The Commissioner has directed that all the suspects indicted in the course of the investigation be arraigned in court without delay, once investigation is concluded.”
Ikenga added that CP Adeoye decried the moral decay in the society today and urged parents/guardians to pay greater attention to influence factors children are exposed to.
According to him, Command’s actions send a strong message that sexual crimes will not be tolerated in Anambra State, as the Command and other law enforcement agencies are determined to protect the vulnerable and hold perpetrators accountable.