An Edo-based man, Odion Edigin, has appealed to Nigerians to prevail on the Nigeria Police and the Department of Public Prosecution to charge a suspected pedophile, Patrick IIhowa,to court for alleged defilement of his 10-year-old daughter.
Briefing journalists on Wednesday at the NUJ Press Centre in Benin City, Edigin alleged that since his 10-year-old daughter was defiled on September 25, 2021 in Ogheghe town, Upper Siluko Road, Egor Local Government Area of the state, Ihowa has been arrested by security operatives, taken into police custody but the DPP and the Nigeria Police have been delaying his arraignment in court.
Edigin who claimed to have rejected financial inducement from unnamed individuals not to press charges against the alleged pedophile, noted that the suspect was apprehended through the collaborative effort of a group known as the Nigeria Crime Hunters and Nigeria Police at his younger brother’s residence in Uteh Community in Uhunmwode Local Government Area on October 2, 2021 where he sought refuge.
Edigin who stated that the case was later transferred to the Family Unit section of the State Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation with the tests that were conducted at Vivian medical Centre in Oredo Local Government Area, alleged that lawyers have continued to tell him to name his price for settlement.
He appealed to the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and the First Lady of the State, Betsy Obaseki along with the Federation of Women Lawyers, Nigerian Bar Association, human rights organizations to assist him in defence for his daughter whose right had been violated.
He said, “My 10-year-old daughter who is a primary four pupil at about 8.30 pm on September 25, 2021, raised the alarm that Patrick Ihowa has defiled her. When I rushed out to find out what happened, I saw blood stains in her pant. Before I could call on neighbours for help, Ihowa escaped.
“All efforts to apprehend him proved abortive. I then contacted the Edo State Police Command and I was to report the case at Ogida Police Division on the same day, which I did.
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“When I discovered that Ogida police response was slow, I called on Nigerian Crime Hunters at Egor and Ihowa was arrested in Uteh and brought to Ogida Police Station from where he was transferred to the Family Unit section of the State Criminal Investigation Department.
“Consequently, an IPO was assigned to follow up on the investigation and thereafter taken to the Department of Public Prosecution.
“As we speak, today is November 3rd 2021, the case is still at the DPP for over two weeks now, according to the IPO. I do not know why DPP is now delaying this case from being charged to court for trial.
“I feel worried because I know that Ihowa is making efforts to stop his trial and prosecution. For sometimes now, several persons had approached me to plead on his behalf not to go to court. But, what I need is justice.
“The medical report from Vivian Medical Center that showed that the man actually defiled my daughter is out. All the receipts are available too.”
When contacted, the spokesman of the Nigeria police, Edo State Command, Kotongs Bello, said there were many rape cases reported to the police.
“Though I don’t remembered the particular case, We have no reason to keep a suspect in police custody. If any arrest is made, we don’t wait for more than 24 hours before we charge the suspect to court”, he said.