By Egufe Yafugborhi – Port Harcourt

Police in Rivers State on Friday disclosed the arrest of an eight-man vigilante team in Diobu, Port Harcourt for alleged rape and kidnapping.

The arrest followed the report by a 21-year-old girl (name withheld) who told the police that the 8 suspects of the vigilante team, popularly known as ‘Diobu OSPAC’ stripped her naked in a confined space and video recorded the scenes as they sexually molested her.

The victim said the suspects, led by one Godstime Ihunwo, abducted her and two brothers from their Mile 3 Diobu 11 April, purportedly on the orders of their father who had complained to the vigilante of the children’s insubordination and stealing at home.

She said, “Upon arrival at a detention room of the vigilante, I was stripped naked and placed in separate room from my brothers. They subjected me and my brothers to severe torture. They inserted fingers into my body.

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“They abusing me, saying they were directed to check my private part to ascertain if I were still a virgin. And they took videos of my nakedness and the molestation. After beating me and my brothers thoroughly, they shaved our hairs before releasing us next day.

“I was admitted in the hospital for four days after the ordeal with threats from my abusers that they would track and deal with us if we reported the matter to the police.”

Police Public Relations Officers, Rivers Police Command Nnamdi Omoni, said though the police has mutual working relations with vigilantes in checking crimes in the state, there was no excuse for the said team overstepping their bounds or engaging in criminal acts.

Omoni said, “The police will investigate all human rights abuses allegedly committed by this group. In the first place, they have no power to operate a detention center. At best they apprehend and hand over to the police. They have no right to detain anyone.”

Vanguard News Nigeria.

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