A 65-year old man, Chuks Emele has been arrested for allegedly defiling an 8-year old boy at Umunze in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State, The Nation Newspaper reports.
The arrest followed a letter by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in the State, submitted to the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Umunze, on the complaint received from the mother of the victim.
The Commission in the letter, signed by its Coordinator, Mrs. Nkechi Ugwuanyi, made available to newsmen, argued that the act violated section 3 sub-sections 1, 2 and 3 of the State Violence Against Persons Prohibition, (VAPP), Law 2017.
Speaking with reporters, Ugwuanyi said the case got to the Commission following the suspect’s refusal to cooperate with stakeholders in the community who waded into the matter.
She said the commission’s interest was to ensure proper treatment of the victim of various medical complications he had suffered and that justice was seen to have been served.
She said, “Defiling a minor of eight years is not only against the law but a criminal offence. The boy as we learnt had been sick since the incident. The community stakeholders stepped in but he did not cooperate with them.”
“We made effort to relocate the victim to Ntasi Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Enugwu-Ukwu for proper treatment free of charge but the family did not agree.”
While calling on relevant bodies to come to the victim’s aid, the NHRC Coordinator pleaded the protection of his identity to avoid worsening the psychological effects of the incident on him.
“I appreciate the Police Public Relations Officer, the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Umunze and Safenest Foundation, an NGO, for their various roles leading to the arrest of violator. We pray the Police will follow up until justice is done,” she added.
Narrating her son’s ordeal in a telephone interview, the mother of the victim, Mrs. Ogechi Arinze, also appealed for the law to take its course since the violator had refused to do the needful despite the community’s interventions.
“After the incident, my son had protruded anus. He lost lots of blood which had gone through blood infusion. He is still in the hospital because he runs a high temperature. All I want is justice for my son,” she said.
On his part, a medical doctor treating the victim confirmed that there was penetration into the boy’s anus, adding that he had been taken through an HIV test among other examinations.
The suspect, a father of two, blamed the devil for the act but denied the presence of blood on the victim as the mother claimed.
“I don’t know what came over me that day. It is up to three months now. He came to do farm work for me. So, when he entered my room to collect his wage, I grabbed him and slept with him. I regret doing that to the small boy. It was the devil,” he added.
Reacting, Police spokesperson, Mr Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the incident, saying the investigation had commenced.
“The suspect is currently in our custody. He will be charged after investigations were concluded,” he added.