For allegedly raping a 12-year-old student of Aduwawa Secondary School, Benin, a 62-year-old cobbler, Augustine Chukwudi has been taken into the custody of the Benin Zonal Command of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
The Benin zonal commander of the agency, Mr. Nduka Nwanwenne who disclosed this yesterday said that the young victim, a Muslim from Akoko-Edo local government area of Edo State, who sells a popular local drink, zobo for her mother was patronized by the suspect who allegedly offered N500 to pay for the drink which goes for N5O.
Nwanwenne explained that the victim who had no change left with a firm promise to come back later to collect the change as she was conversant with the environment.
Two weeks later, he said that the victim went back to the suspect’s shop to collect the money but she met his absence but was however directed by the cobbler’s apprentice to his house which was close by.
The zonal commander added that when she got to the suspect’s house, she knocked hard on the door only to be dragged inside and defiled.
Nwanwenne said: “It was the cry of the victim that attracted the neighbours who opened the door to rescue her.”
He said that the suspect, a native of Ishagu, Ohazaria local government area of Ebonyi state admitted to the crime as investigation is being conducted to charge him to court.
According to him, when the shoemaker was hit with the reality of the situation as the law will catch up with him, he said that he allegedly tried to settle the victims’ mother with a sum of N50,000 and later reduced it to N30,000 before he was apprehended by men of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Edo State Command who eventually handed him over to the anti-human trafficking agency.
Reacting to the arrest, Quoting the Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, the zonal commander reiterated the determination of the agency towards protecting the girl child and punishing sexual offenders as required by law.