BY PETER DURU
MAKURDI — No fewer than nine suspected Fulani herdsmen, yesterday, allegedly gang-raped a 15-year-old girl and two housewives (names withheld) at gunpoint, in Tse Ikyuer, Yandev, Mbagwen in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.
Two of the victims, who narrated their ordeal to Vanguard in Makurdi, the state capital, said after beating and raping them, the herdsmen also made away with their N60,000 and two phones.
According to the women, who could barely walk, “one of us (the teenage girl) was raped repeatedly, after being thoroughly beaten by the herdsmen. At the moment, she is neither able to walk nor talk.”
Before they were taken to an undisclosed hospital in Makurdi for medical attention by the Police, the women, who spoke at intervals, said: “The men with their leader came to our home in the afternoon and pleaded that we give them water to drink.
“We obliged them, but they noticed the absence of our husbands, and when their leader asked of our husband’s whereabouts, we innocently told him that they travelled but would be back much later.
“After drinking the water, they left, only for about nine of them to come back later in the day, armed with guns and machetes and asked us to lie down and have sex with them or they will kill everybody.”
The women who wept profusely, explained that four of the armed herdsmen fired shots in the air to terrify and also compel them to submit to their demands.
She said: “After defiling us, they beat us mercilessly and collected over N60,000 from us and also took away our handsets.”
The women said that the leader of the gang was well known in the community but he fled from the area with his family and cattle shortly after the incident.
Vanguard gathered from a Police source that one of the suspects had been arrested while the hunt for the leader of the gang and seven others had begun.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Superintendent (SP) Daniel Ezeala, who confirmed the incident, said investigations into the matter had commenced.