Juliana Francis

A neighbourhood trader in the Okota area of Lagos State, identified simply as Emmanuel, has been arrested after he fondled his 11 years old customer’s breasts and exposed his manhood to her.

According to the survivor’s mother, the child has been complaining of pains in her breasts following the suspect squeezing them hard.

The quest for justice for the child is being by a child rights nongovernmental organisaiton, Advocates for Children and Vulnerable Persons Network (ACVPN).

However, justice seemed about to be lost as a lawyer, Malcolm, allegedly acting on the behest of the suspect, implied that the child was lying against the adult and also charged the police to do a proper investigation by visiting the scene of the incident and interrogating Emmanuel’s fellow traders in the community.

However, ACVPN said that the best bet was for the matter to be charged to court, adding that it has received the matter since the 9th of September 2022.

The co-founder of ACVPN, Mr. Ebenezer Omejalile referring to the case said: “We got a distress call from a concerned Nigerian regarding a case of sexual harassment of an 11 years old girl who was sent to buy rice from a foodstuff dealer popularly known as Emmanuel, who is 30 years old.

“According to the survivor, she claimed after she had purchased the rice, Emmanuel was supposed to balance her N50 change, but instead Emmanuel asked her to come and get her to change in an inner room which, according to the survivor, Emmanuel forcibly dragged her inside the inner room and started fondling her breast.

“She further claimed Emmanuel brought out his manhood and showed her, asking her if she had ever seen manhood before and if it looked like her father’s manhood. The survivor claimed she screamed which attracted members of the public. Emmanuel was duly arrested by the Ago Palace way Police Station and detained for further investigation, members of his family and Co traders contacted Barrister Malcolm who tried to intimidate the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) and the Officer in charge of the Human Rights Desk. The OC Human Rights Desk at the station is however very knowledgeable and experienced in such matters, thus stood his ground against the lawyer who made a mockery of himself by applying for an administrative bail for Emmanuel.”

According to Omejalile, the suspect admitted to the crime, pleading for clemency. (JFNews) gathered that the case had been transferred to the Gender Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba, for further investigation.

The ACVPN said that it was following the transfer of the case to SCIID, that the lawyer video, called for the release of his client and asked police to carry out proper investigations by going to the scene of the incident.

Omejalile further noted: “Report has it that Emmanuel’s fellow traders offered the survivor’s parents money which they declined, rather they demanded justice for their daughter. According to the survivor’s father, Barrister Malcolm had threatened him with jail if he did not withdraw the case. Going by the action of Malcolm, he’s invariably an enabler of rape and should be treated as one. ACVPN demand proper investigation and prosecution of Emmanuel if found culpable in any way. The actions of Malcolm showed that he had no knowledge of what it takes to investigate and prosecute the sexual offence. The Police should not be intimidated by Malcolm. The survivor’s father calls on the government and agencies saddled with the responsibility of doing the right thing to ensure Justice is duly served.

It was also gathered that the Lagos State Commissioner of Police Abiodun Alabi, deliberated on the case and instructed the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ago Palace Police Station to read Barrister Malcolm’s petition, which has clearly sent the perpetrator to prison. The CP further instructed that the Gender Unit should also visit the scene of the incident.

The matter is expected to be charged to court on Monday 19th September 2022.


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