By Peter Okutu — Abakaliki
A young girl(names withheld) was, last weekend, raped by a middle-aged man, Emeka Chukwuani, at the popular Fatilami Park, Onwe Road, Abakaliki, as she was returning home around 8p.m.
It was gathered that the suspect, who is from Agwu, Enugu State, snatched the girl’s phone and ran into Fatilami Park, luring his victim into the isolated park, as those running the affairs of the place had long closed for the day.
Oblivious of the clandestine motive of the suspect, the girl ran after him into the Park to recover her phone. She ended up being beaten and raped by the suspect.
In a statement by Mr. Sampson Oko Nweke, the State Chairman of Human Rights Defender, HURIDE, the suspect was apprehended by the Police after the NGO and the victim’s sister raised the alarm over the incident.
According to him: “On Saturday, November 28, between 8:30p.m. and 9p.m., HURIDE got a distress call, reporting that someone(a young girl) was being raped at Fatilami Park, Abakaliki.
“Immediately, we made phone calls and the alleged rapist was arrested by the Police as he was already fleeing.
“His name is Emeka Chukwuani, a married man from Awgu, Enugu State. He sells bicycles somewhere along Ezza Road, Abakaliki.
“When we got to the crime scene, it was so horrible. We saw the wailing victim with bruises and wounds all over her body with multiple bites.
“She received a serious hit on the mouth which left all her front teeth shaky. There was blood everywhere.”
Narrating her ordeal, the young girl said: “I was going home with my younger sister around 8p.m., when we saw this man on the way.
“He stopped and wanted to talk to us, but we continued to move. He followed us and snatched my phone and ran into Fatilami Park.
“We ran after him to give us our phone. Immediately we got to the photo stand, he grabbed my neck and we began to struggle.
“As we struggled, he was biting me everywhere including my ear, my cheek, my shoulder, my back and somewhere close to my private part.
“My sister was shouting but nobody was there to help us. When my sister was trying to draw him away from my body, he broke a bottle on her head and she ran outside crying, while I was shouting inside.
“It was when he hit my mouth with the bottle that I became somehow unconscious and I woke up later to discover that he had raped me.
“I was surprised when I heard gunshots and two persons came inside. He tried to run away but they apprehended him. That was when I realised they were police officers. They saved me and my sister.”
Continuing, the State Chairman of HURIDE, Nweke noted that the NGO stood behind the victim until justice was served, not minding threats from different quarters.
He said: “Meanwhile, since that Saturday of his arrest, his wife and relatives have been calling and begging HURIDE to help them destroy justice. They had approached the father of the victim begging and threatening.
“They also tried to intimidate and threaten the girl. But within this period of threats and intimidation, HURIDE never forsook the victim. She had always been consoled and encouraged to remain strong.
“As this was happening, however, HURIDE had notified the National Human Rights Commission and other relevant CSOs in the state. They all, in the usual team spirit, became aware and got strongly involved in the matter.
“So, today, Tuesday, December 1 (yesterday), amidst all distractions and persuasions, we persevered for justice and the suspect was finally arraigned in the state High Court and was subsequently remanded.”