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Rape: Reject Calls For Settlements From Suspects, Agberen Tasks Family Members Of Victims



Rape: Reject Calls For Settlements From Suspects, Agberen Tasks Family Members Of Victims

…Urges Police To Always Ensure Prosecution Of Rapists Who Offer Money TO Evade Justice

By Daniel Dafe

National Coordinator, “No Justice, No Peace Initiative,” Comrade Derrick Oritsematosan Agberen, has called on the Delta Police Command to stop the trend of parents and family members of rape victims from going behind to make money negotiations with suspects and their relations, saying parents who prefer compensation for the damages done to their girl child over getting justice should be dealt with by the police.

In a statement made available to Oasis Magazine on Monday, he added that “the habit of parents going for round table settlement to collect money from family or the rape suspects should be condemned,” while calling on the Delta State Police Command “to state it clearly that offenses of defilement and rape are serious offenses and as such, any form of withdrawal, whether is by an affidavit from a court for withdrawal of case, either by the victim or the family members would not be tolerated and can lead to charging them for conspiracy, aiding and abetting, with the suspects or family, which in turn can lead to their arrest and persecution.”

His words: “Defilement and rape are usually painful ordeal with horrible experiences, which often have deep and powerful emotional scars, that seem to last many years after the event, leaving the girl child with emotional and psychological trauma and of which, no parent or ward should consider any form of settlements.”

According to him, two weeks ago, his afternoon was drawn to a case of defilement (rape), where an underage girl (name withheld) who attends a secondary school situated at Effurun, was defiled by a 20-year-old youth.

He added: “The said minor, who was convinced by the suspect to visit him at his friend’s apartment, immediately left from class after school hours, ignorantly conceding the idea. She narrated how the said suspect had suffocated her with his hands on her throat, forcefully defiling/raping her while she screamed for help. It was the next door neighbour who had heard her rescue call and forced himself into the apartment that enabled the victim run out.”

He continued: “A lady (name withheld), who had noticed her crying and at the same time running even when no one was pursuing her, approached and then interrogated the minor, who narrated her sad ordeal about how she was defiled by an invited instrumentalist who had attended their church. She immediately called me and then, we invited her mother over.

“After which, we sorted ways to apprehend the suspect. But, he got the information before we arrived at his apartment. He was later caught by some youths in Ekpan that same day while he was on the run. The mother immediately called my attention, while I called the ever ready Divisional Police Officer (DPO), CSP Aliyu Shaba, who immediately sent men from the Police Division to the scene but before they got there, the mother had called me that she does not want the police involvement in the matter because she has considered settlement. It was then I realized that she had considered an option for money or has been influenced by the youths to jettison prosecuting the suspect to get justice for her underage daughter. Before the Police got to the actual point, she had left with some unidentified youths in the community to an unknown location. She stopped picking calls and turned off her phone.”

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Furthermore, he said: “We had allowed the case sleep by a week after the incident, as video evidence surfaced, where the victim had made mention of her name, school and class. Through the Ekpan Divisional Police Station, we announced our presence at the victim’s school last week to identify the victim with the help of the school management and we probed further to arrest her mother and a suspected pastor who had ensured that the case was settled, cutting off the police. We proceeded to the apartment of the suspect but unfortunately, he had relocated, while the search for the pastor and other youths continued. Unfortunately for the rape suspect, he was arrested two days ago, and has been under detention at the Ekpan Police Divisional Headquarters, until today he was transferred to the Delta State Police Command, after which, the case will be charged to a competent court of jurisdiction.”

Meanwhile, Agberen warned that community leaders and youths, who are in the habit of conniving with both the rape suspects and family of victims for money bargains, should desist from such involvement, saying “defilement and rape are serious crimes,” just as he noted that “they do not have the jurisdiction to hear such cases, otherwise it will indict any executive member caught in such acts.”


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