A popular businessman in Ogoja, northern Cross River State, southsouth Nigeria, has been arrested for allegedly raping a two-year old girl (name withheld).
The man, Mr. James Eze, was detained by the police after he was arrested for allegedly having carnal knowledge of the child.
Eze, who owns a well-known Edoh Pharmacy located on I, Mission Road, Igoli Ogoja, allegedly lured the girl into his office where he defiled her and thereafter gave her N25 to buy sweets.
Eze was alleged to have defiled the girl for ritual purposes as he “collected the blood that gushed from the girl’s private part with a white handkerchief. The handkerchief is now with the police,” an eyewitness says.
Mrs. Josephine Ibeh, the mother of the victim who owns a beer parlour at the back of the building where Edoh Pharmacy is located, said her daughter came back and told her that blood was coming out of her private part and on close examination she realised that she had been defiled.
“I saw that her private part had wound and was bleeding profusely, and when I asked her what happened, she told me that Edoh put his penis inside her,” Ibeh said.
Mrs. Ibeh said the girl’s private part was severely damaged by the suspect and when she confronted him, he gave her money to pacify her.
“When I confronted Edoh, he brought out N50,000 and told me to take the girl to the hospital, saying that it was the devil that pushed him to do it,” she said as tears streamed down her cheeks.
Mrs. Eze said the matter was reported to the police at the Divisional Headquarters in Ogoja and the man was arrested while the girl was taken to the General Hospital Ogoja where she was stitched.
A doctor at the hospital, who pleaded anonymity, says the girl had “four stitches as the tear was deep and the lacerations caused by the forced entry wide.”
A source at the Divisional Police Headquarters confirmed that Edoh is in their custody and may not be given bail immediately going by the inflamed passion in the town over the act.
“We suspect ritual purpose for the man’s act because that man is rich enough to have any woman of his choice in this town. The white handkerchief the man used to collect the blood is in our custody,” the police source said.
The matter, the source added, would soon be transferred to the state police Command Headquarters in Calabar.