…Ikeja Gender Unit frowns over Meira Police Station’s failure to add sexual harassment charge

…family of girl under pressure to drop case against tenant

Juliana Francis

A tenant, Mr Okezie, who attacked his landlord’s 15-year-old daughter, Fisayo, with a stone, leading to her losing consciousness and being rushed to the hospital has been detained by the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Gender Unit.

The Case Manager of Advocates for Children and Vulnerable Persons Network (ACVPN), Jennifer Nwosu, who was at the Gender Unit with her team members, said that she noticed that the family of the victim was under intense pressure from the alleged perpetrator’s family to drop the case.

This was even as Police personnel at the Gender Unit questioned why the sexual harassment charge was not included in the case file brought by the Meiran Police Station, where the case was first reported by both parties.

Okezie was said to have attacked the child with the stone, which almost cost her death after she saw him peeping at her from the window moments after she returned from the bathroom and was stark naked.

The incident happened when the victim’s parents had gone to pay a condolence visit. The girl said that Okezie repeatedly urged her to come and open the door.

Before the fateful day in question, the girl alleged that Okezie used to tell her that he would marry her, a move which many child protection experts said was called ‘grooming.’

According to www.nspcc.org.uk, in Grooming, the perpetrator forges a relationship with the target, and earns her trust, including an emotional connection “with a child or young person so they can manipulate, exploit and abuse them.”

These targets are then later sexually abused, exploited or trafficked by those they have learned to trust.

The www.nspcc.org.uk further states: “Anybody can be a groomer, no matter their age, gender or race. Grooming can take place over a short or long period – from weeks to years. Groomers may also build a relationship with the young person’s family or friends to make them seem trustworthy or authoritative.”

Okezie and his wife also used to send the child on errands. When the child first complained to her parents about the moves of Okezie on her, they warned and stopped her from further going on errands for the couple.

It was said that Fisayo had also reported Okezie’s love moves to her aunt.

On the fateful day Okezie played Peeping Tom, urging the minor to open the door, quite aware her parents were not at home, Fisayo had marched to Okezie’s wife to report him.

An enraged Okezie attacked her with a huge stone, landing the minor in hospital. Jennifer reports the event on Tuesday at the Gender Unit.

She said: “ACVPN team members were at the Gender Unit earlier although the victim, her father and her Aunt got to the gender office at about noon.

“ACVPN Team members had waited for them outside and we noticed that the victim’s father came in the perpetrator’s cousin’s car.

“We proceeded to the 2ic’s office because the New OC Gender was not on the ground. The Investigating Police Officer (IPO) from Meiran Police Station gave an oral account of what she wrote in her report and the 2ic Supol Bimbo Williams noticed Meiran Police did not include sexual harassment as one of the charges in the case file.

“The victim and perpetrator also gave brief accounts of their story. This was when the 2ic ordered a female IPO from the gender unit to take their statements.

“Meanwhile, the father of the victim also spoke on how Okezie attacked him severally with stones and planks and eventually injured the victim.

“ACVPN team members noticed Okezie’s family members were putting a lot of pressure on the victim’s father and aunt to drop the charges all of which did not yield any fruitful result

“Meanwhile, the 2ic Supol Bimbo Williams to our surprise said that Okezie and his wife reported the case first and had alleged that the victim’s father beat his wife up. ACVPN Team members noticed she was not heavily pregnant as earlier reported.

“It took almost three hours for the officers to obtain Okezie’s statement. He is presently detained by the Gender Unit.

“Another medical paper was issued to the victim’s father yesterday to present to the Government comprehensive facility, but the case is looking like there is pressure on the victim’s family to give in.

“We implore the OC Gender to ensure the victim gets justice. We are surprised that Meiran Police Station, where the case was transferred from didn’t include the sexual harassment among the charges which is unacceptable.

“We’ll not accept any form of manipulation on this case. The report has it that the former OC Gender retired last year in November 2022 and about five officers in the Gender Unit were transferred.

“We call on the CP Lagos who is known as the father of justice, equity and fairness to ensure justice for the victim.”



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