A 65-year-old man and father of seven simply identified as Papa Effiom, from Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has been arrested for impregnating a 13-year-old girl. The girl, Mabel (other names withheld), was initially branded a witch by her family and allegedly driven away from the home by her stepmother.
The girl, who had given birth to a baby boy at Methodist General Hospital, Ituk Mbang was said to be doing well with the baby.
The Hospital Management Board Chairman, Dr. Val Attah, who confirmed the incident to Daily Sun, said the board was making efforts to hand over the girl to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development for proper care and upkeep.
“The Board is for now concerned with the medical aspect of the incident; the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development is concerned with the social aspect while the Ministry of Justice should be concerned with the criminal aspect,” he said.
Attah said the Ministry of Justice would be approached to prepare legal proceedings against the suspect for child abuse. He advised parents to educate their female children on issues of sex even as he called on government to make a law against parents who neglected their children.
He said a child right law enacted in the state on August 14, 2008 stipulated a jail term for adult, who branded person younger than 18 years as witch; it also stipulated punishments for those who abused children. A major highlight of the law was the provision for punishment of an offender with a prison term of not more than 14 years or a fine of N500 thousand or both.
The Medical Superintendent in charge of Methodist General Hospital, Ituk Mbang, Dr. Obot Etuk, said a good Nigerian brought the girl to the hospital. He said the hospital had attended to the girl and her baby, adding that what was left was how to rehabilitate her.
The father of the girl, Emmanuel (other names withheld), from Abak Local Government Area, said to be residing along, Ikot Antem Road, Mbiaobong Etoi, Uyo could not be reached for comment, even as Daily Sun correspondent learnt that the police might still invite him and his wife.