Posted by News Express | 24 December 2018 | 1,343 times
Amid glaring evidence of sexual defilement, the Minna Chief Magistrate Court 3 in Niger State has granted bail to one Zakari Yusuf, a serial rapist, alleged to have tormented and sexually abused an 11-year-old girl, Safiya Muhammad.
The court also adjourned hearing into the case till Tuesday 8 January, 2018.
Safiya, a primary four pupil who resides at Soje area in Minna, the Niger State’s capital, together with her family, PRNigeria gathered, had become the object of routine sexual gratification for Zakari.
The accused, a young man in his late twenties, it was learnt, has been having penetrative sex with the young Safiya for almost two years before she developed Vesico-Vaginal Fistula, otherwise known as VVF, a health condition which results in the uncontrollable discharge of urine and faeces through a female’s vagina.
In the wake of the incident, Executive members of the National Association of Niger State Law Students’ (NANIGLAWS), launched a social media campaign tagged: “Justice for Safiya”.
After paying an empathy visit to the family of Safiya, the NANIGLAWS delegation led by its President, Suleiman S. Jipan, stormed the office of the Child Right Agency.
The students’ association, at the office had a fruitful discussion with the Agency’s top management, alongside the representatives of the state’s Ministry of Justice, Human Rights Commission, and a staff of Prestige FM, Minna.
It was resolved in the meeting, that the Department of Gender Violation at the Ministry of Justice and the National Human Rights Commission, should henceforth handle the case.
A source privy to the matter disclosed that the suspect threatened to kill her if she reveals anything about his amorous escapades with her to anyone.
The source said: “We just found out that Zakari has been having carnal knowledge with little Safiya. This started about two years ago when Safiya was nine. Though, we are aware that Zakari, been a neighbor to Safiya’s parents regularly asks the little girl to run errands for him. But nobody had suspected anything bad, because he was jovial and friendly to Safiya, and her parents.
“Safiya’s mother recently came to discover about Zakari’s illicit affairs with her child, when she saw her daughter walking in strange manner after living the room of the rapist. Zakari threatened to chop-off Safiya’s head if she exposes him to her parents or any third party.”
However, the bubble was busted when Safiya developed Vesico-Vaginal Fistula, otherwise known as VVF, a health condition which results in the uncontrollable discharge of urine and feces through a female’s vagina.
Upon discovering Safiya’s terrible condition, the under-aged girl exposed Zakari to her parent, who then reported the case to officials of the State’s Child Right Agency, a fortnight ago.
The Agency, after been informed about Safiya’s case, was passionately interested in prosecuting Zakari.
The source however said: “It was obvious that men of the Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) did not do a thorough investigation. Otherwise, the Magistrate Court will not have even considered the defendant’s bail application, much less granting him bail over the heinous crime he committed.”
In a telephone chat with PRNigeria, the Police Command’s Public Relation Officer (PPRO), DSP Muhammad Dan-Inna Abubakar, debunked the claim that the CID men did not carry out a diligent inquiry on the matter.
The police spokesperson said: “Those who said that the police didn’t do a thorough investigation are merely expressing their bias views, which obviously are erroneous and malicious. They cannot tell or show us how efficient we can do our work. It is a public Knowledge that we swiftly acted upon hearing about the case, by first arresting the suspect, interrogated and subsequently arraigned him before the Magistrate Court. That he was granted bail, shows that the prosecuting counsel failed to convince the court with strong arguments, on why the accused should remain in detention. So, their argument is neither here nor there.”
DSP Abubakar noted that only a law court has the jurisdiction to convict a suspect over a crime, and that is after examining the facts and evidences presented by both the prosecutor and defence counsel.
He said the police vehemently frown against perpetrating criminal activities in the state, hence will support families of rape victims to seek justice in courts.
Speaking on the matter, Barrister Maxwell Gada, Legal Secretary of Oga-Landlord Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that handles cases of sexual abuse, and other forms of human rights violation, expressed dismay that the suspect, who is now threatening the girl’s family, was granted bail for raping a minor and causing her serious injuries on her sexual organ.
He said it was unfortunate that based on the evidence(s) brought by the prosecutor, the offence perpetrated by the suspect was considered to be ‘Defilement of a Minor’, instead of ‘Rape of a Minor’.
Barr. Gada, however assured that his NGO, together with the Child Right Agency, will ensure that Zakari is prosecuted, while the victim undergoes a surgical operation to correct her VVF condition.
Also, Jipan appealed for a meticulous and thorough investigation to be re-launched into the matter, and spear-headed by a new team of investigators.
“NANIGLAWS is begging the State Government, spirited individuals and NGOs to come to the aid of our dear sister, Safiya. Her condition, which is fast deteriorating, is a thing of great concern. Something must be done so as to save the life of the young girl, and her bright future,” he said.
The NANIGLAWS President, called on the Police to provide adequate security for Safiya’s traumatised family, saying: “The accused Zakari has threatened to deal with the girl and members of her family for taking the case to court.”
The Clerk of Niger State House of Assembly during a recent live programme on Prestige FM, 91.7, about Safiya’s ordeal, personally called in and donated an undisclosed sum of money.
But Safiya, our reporter learnt, has been taken into protective custody and receiving sound medical attention at an unknown facility, following a directive by the Wife of Niger State Governor, Dr. Amina Sani-Bello. (PRNigeria)
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