Juliana Francis

The Esther Child Rights Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, has petitioned the Imo State National Human Rights Commission, following the discovery that at least two men have had carnal knowledge of a minor, including a man who posed as a Good Samaritan and wanted to protect her from other rapists.

The petition, dated 8th of July 2024 and directed to the Director of the Imo State National Human Rights Commission demanded the arrest of one Mr Sopuruchi, Mr Okechuku and others for the rape of a minor and perversion of justice.

The ordeal of the minor was brought to the attention of the Esther Child Rights Foundation by Mr Benjamin, the father of the minor

According to  Benjamin, sometime in May of this year, he discovered that his 14years old has been raped various times by one Sopuruchi.

This later led to the child becoming pregnant, but sadly the perpetrator was not arrested. The minor would later lose the pregnancy.

The Executive Director of Esther Child Rights Foundation, Ambassador  Esther Ekwem Obioma, who has taken up the case, vowing to get justice for the minor, explained that the youth chairman of the community, Mr Okechukwu, under the pretence of protecting the minor and taking care of her, suggested she should come and live with him.

This was after he had allegedly collected money from Sopuruchi, promising to close the case against him.

It was also discovered that he took this action in cahoots with one Innocent, Tochi and Anele and they all allegedly conspired to subvert the course of justice.

Obioma said: “The most shocking part of this sordid story is that the said youth chairman, Okechukwu, who deceitfully proposed to harbour the minor has been violently raping her. This shows that he had an ulterior motive all along. The said Okechukwu then disappeared from the community for a while after the shocking discovery.

“We have been reliably informed by our client that the following persons are either accessory after the fact or solicited to have carnal knowledge of the same Minor and are also planning to banish her and her family from the community. Ejike, Chukwuka, Innocent, Tochi and Nnamdi.”

The Esther Child Rights Foundation further urged the NHRC to ensure justice by taking legal steps against the men mentioned.

The petition states: “Therefore, sir we implore you to use your good offices to ensure that the culprits are brought to book for this dastardly act against an innocent Minor who is from an indigent family.

“They should all be prosecuted and sent to prison immediately, as a deterrent to others. We believe that sexual violence or assault should never be tolerated or condoned, especially against a child. Let justice be done, even though the heavens may fall.”

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