Juliana Francis

A 13-year-old girl, who was defiled by her relative’s guardian, may not get justice if the N34,000 demanded by the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), at Oke Ilewo Police Station, Abeokuta, Ogun State Command is not provided.

According to the IPO, identified as Buhari, the money is meant to take care of certain items before the case could be decisively handled.

He explained that a legal fee of N10,000 was needed for the police to take any ex-parte motion case to court and transport of N20,000 was also needed for movement to Agbara Court, and thirdly, N4,300 was needed for photocopies for the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) and court.

It was gathered that the girl was living with her guardian at Ilu Tuntun in Agbara, when she was defiled. The alleged perpetrator has been identified as Mr Olabanji, a spouse to the survivor’s guardian, Mrs Omolere.

The survivor explained that Olabanji defiled her sometime in June 2022, when her guardian, Omolere, asked her to go and give Olabanji money.

The child narrated that when she got to the house, Olabanji asked the cyclist who brought the child to leave, took her into the apartment, locked the door, and then defiled her.

It was also learned that after that first crime, Olabanji had repeatedly made attempts to defile the survivor at night, especially when Omolere had gone for a vigil in the church.

It was further gathered that one of the obstacles that had checked Olabanji from repeatedly defiling the girl was the young son of Omolere, who used to watch puzzled as the man tries to have his way with the girl.

Olabanji, who sensed that the survivor may spill the beans to her mom who is overseas, made it practically impossible for the girl to speak freely on her guardian’s phone.

A member of the Advocate for Children and Vulnerable Persons Network (ACVPN), Ololade Ajayi, who has been following the matter, said: “She was able to do so last month, however, when she resumed at a new school and gave her mom’s number to the principal who then gave her phone to talk to her mom freely and the matter was reported. I was at Agbara Police Station to report the case, and the IPO there, officer Rhoda detained the perpetrator and gave us a medical test form which we did at the Agbara Medical Centre and Maternity Home. However, to our utmost surprise, the doctor called the police behind us and told them that we had snapped pictures of the report. The police instructed us to delete the pictures of the medical reports.”

Lolade further stated that the matter was transferred to Abeokuta Command, where the new IPO, Buhari, asked her to “pay legal fees of N10,000 for police to take any ex-parte motion case to court and transport of N20,000 to Agbara court and also N4,300 for photocopies to DPP and court. How is an indigent survivor supposed to be able to afford this? Is this not why survivors refuse to speak up? There is no hope of getting justice. The officers said that the perpetrator will be granted administrative bail if we don’t do all this to prepare him for court. The Ogun State ⁩PPRO reiterated that their command does not have a vehicle, so we must do the needful.”

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