By NWABUEZE OKONKWO, Onitsha
THE spate of rampant rape and defilement of young girls in Anambra State is now giving many parents and guardians cause for concern.
The first victim of these rapists was little Miss Chekwube (surname withheld), a teenager from Ogborji- Ezzagu Community in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State residing with her parents at MINAJ Village, Odume Layout, Obosi.
The teenager was gang-raped to death by eight artisans in an uncompleted building at Odume Layout, Obosi, sometime in September, 2013, when her father sent her to go and buy some cups of garri at night for their dinner.
The second victim who did not want her name in print, a 23-year- old virgin was allegedly raped and de-flowered in December, last year, under gun point and with threat to strangle her to death if she resisted, at Obosi by a middle-aged man who was simply identified as Baby Boy.
However, after committing the act, Baby Boy was arrested the next day by a team of vigilante operatives and handed over to the Directorate of Security Services, DSS, who later confirmed to newsmen that during interrogations, it was discovered that Baby Boy was not only a serial rapist, but also a cultist and kidnapper.
This latest incident involving a 14-year- old girl, Ujunwa Nwolisa, a JS I student of Citizen’s Secondary School, Nkpor-Agu in Idemili North Local Government Area of the state and some vigilante operatives attached to the church, occurred at about 5.30 p.m. on Saturday, February, this year inside the premises of Our Lady’s Catholic Church, Nkpor-Agu under Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha.
According to the source, trouble started for the girl when she went to fetch firewood in company of two under-aged boys, namely Promise and Chibuike, at the church premises.
It was gathered that as they passed through a collapsed fence into the church premises and were gathering the firewood and picking cashew fruits that fell on the ground, three security operatives attached to the church emerged from a corner and accused them of plucking the cashew fruits without taking permission from them, an allegation which they denied and explained that they only took the cashew fruits that fell from the tree.
At this juncture, the security operatives ordered the two boys that came with the girl to run out of the premises which they did while the girl was commandeered into a secluded apartment where their leader allegedly started raping her, while his second-in-command watched with keen interest and at the same time, threatening the victim with a machete.
It was further gathered that when the leader of the operatives became satisfied and pushed the girl unto his second-in-command, the second-in-command was just about to take his own turn when the girl suddenly stood up, wriggled herself out from their grip and escaped through the collapsed fence.
Narrating her ordeal in the hands of the operatives, the victim told Crime Alert at her parent’s house at No. 9, Isingwu Road, Nkpor that after her escape, she rushed home and alerted her grand mother, Keziah Nwolisa who in turn, took her to the Police Station at Ogidi where she lodged her complaint.
Her grand mother, Keziah, also confirmed that after taking her to the police station to lodge complaint, she also took her to the nearby Iyi-Enu Mission Hospital, Ogidi when her blood samples were collected and full laboratory tests carried out, adding that the medical scientist asked them to come back the next day for the result of the lab tests.
Reacting, the parents of the girl, Mr. Abuchi and Mrs Cheta Nwolisa, said after their daughter escaped, rushed home and narrated her ordeal to them, they alerted a local vigilante at Isingwu road, Nkpor-Agu who went to the church premises very early on Sunday, during a morning mass and arrested the second-in-command, while the leader who was the main culprit and the third accomplice,are still on the run.
They therefore, demanded that the police should arrest all the culprits, force them to pay for all the medical bills and then charge them to court to serve as a deterrent to other intended rapists.
The grand mother to the victim, Madam Kessiah Nwolisa also confirmed that she was the one that took the girl to the hospital for treatment adding that the suspects should be made to face the wrath of the law and compensate the family.
One of the three security operatives who was yet to be identified as at the time of filing this report, is now in police custody for allegedly raping the girl under machete point, while two others are on the run. Some parishioners of the church who spoke to Crime Alert over the incident, regretted that the vigilante operatives who were employed by the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha to guard its premises, had turned the place into a raping and criminal ground.
The aggrieved parishioners who preferred anonymity also regretted that the vigilante operatives were kept inside the church premises, despite a court order mandating the church to vacate the premises.
The Divisional Police Officer, DPO in-charge of the area, Mr Isa Abubakar, CSP, who simply confirmed the incident on phone, said the police have spread their dragnet towards arresting the leader of the operatives adding that he had forwarded a signal to the State Police Public Relations Officer for further information.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Emeka Chukwuemeka, DSP, also confirmed the incident, adding that investigations were still in progress.