By Peter Duru
Makurdi-Residents of Makurdi, the Benue State capital have continued to express outrage over the alleged rape of Mimidoo Tor, a three yearÂ old girl by an HIV-positive-middle- aged man,Â Cletus Egwu, who, in a bid to seek supernatural cure for his ailment,Â allegedly raped the innocent victim who has also been infected with the virus.
The bizarre incident which took place at 8, Yogbo Street in the North Bank area of the town has generated reactions from across the state just as it has also elicited condemnations and indignation from parents and Human Rights Activists alike.
When Crime Guard called at the home of the rape victim, her uncle and maternal grandmother gave a vivid account of the abominable incident that has more or less, dampened a hitherto promising life of the little girl.
Narrating the incident, Mr. Vitalis Awule stated that the incident took place last Sunday, just a stone throw from his residence.
According to him, they had all gone to church leaving the little girl behind at home in custody of one of her aunties who was busy in the compound washing cloths.
But unknown to the aunty, little Mimidoo had strayed out of the house to an opposite building where she sometimes spend time with her age mates.
â€œBut after some few minutes, the little girl came back home in tears and her aunty who was already tensed up spanked her and asked her to go to bed.
It was only when her older aunties came back from Church and discovered that the little girl was yet to take her bath that morning, and in a bid to bath in order to have her lunch, it was discovered that the girl was holding her vagina firmly with blood still dripping from her private partâ€, he said.
Mr. Awule intimated that upon intense prompting, the defiled girl informed her grandmother and aunties that Mr. Egwu allegedly pierced her private part with something after which the rapist warned the little girl to concealÂ what transpired between them or she would be killed.
He stressed that at this point, they all besieged the home of the alleged rapist who upon sighting them, attempted to escape but he was apprehended by co-tenants who also alluded that they had earlier in the day seen the little girl walked into the room of the alleged rapist.
He said, â€œNeighbours in the compound confirmed that they saw the little girl walked into the manâ€™s room and stayed for several minutesâ€.
Mr. Awule stated that at this juncture, residents of Yogbo Street and other concerned passers-by went afterÂ the suspected rapist and were bent on lynching him, â€œbut I quickly sent for the police who came and apprehended the suspect and saved him from the angry mobâ€.
Crime Guard gathered that the alleged rapist was aware that heâ€™sÂ a HIV-positive patient.Â Reports said it was on the basis of that, that his wife absconded after they lost their first baby from complications arising from the virus.
Police sources hinted that upon interrogation, Cletus confirmed that he knew he was HIV positive but acted on the advise of a witch doctor where he was seeking cure for his ailment, who urged him to have sexual intercourse with a girl of not more than three years in order to get permanent cure for his disease.
He further confessed that it was his desperation for cure and his â€˜doctorâ€™sâ€™ insistence that led him into committing the dastardly act with his neighbourâ€™s granddaughter.
Meanwhile,Â result of a medical test carried out on the little girl at the North Bank General Hospital in Makurdi and made available to Crime Guard has also confirmed that the girl has been infected with HIV by the randy young man.
Reacting to the bizarre incident and the fate that has befallen her grandchild, Mama Lydia Tor pleaded with the government and public spirited individuals to come to the aid of the little girl stressing that she was helpless under the current situation.
Mama Tor also urged the police to ensure that justice was done in the matter to serve as deterrent to others.
When contacted, the Special Adviser to Governor Gabriel Suswam on HIV/AIDS and other Communicable Diseases, Mrs. Maria Idu who expressed so much shock at the incident noted that her office would liaise with the Justice Ministry in the state in order to ensure diligent prosecution of the rapist who she noted, willfully and deliberately infected an innocent person with the virus.
According to Mrs. Idu, her office has not relented in availing the people, especially those living with the virus, the necessary information on remedial measures that would help them live positively with the virus.Â Â She decried the action of the alleged rapist lamenting that his despicable action has jeopardized the future and well~being of the three~ year~ old girl.
The Benue State Commissioner of Police,Â Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed who briefed newsmen on the matter also confirmed that the suspect has been remanded in prison custody pending the definite commencement of his trial.