A tricycle operator in Akwa Ibom state, Edet Sunday Edem, is cooling his heels in police custody after he was apprehended by youths for allegedly defiling a 10-year-old girl in Use Offot, Uyo local government area of the State.
The suspect who hails from Oku Iboku in Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom State allegedly committed the crime in his rented apartment in Use Offot, Uyo metropolis and took the girl to Use Offot market square, and abandoned her while the girl was bleeding profusely.
The girl whose name is withheld was noticed by passersby and was rushed to St Luke’s hospital, Anua for medical attention.
It was garhered that one Miriam Daniels who is a member of a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Journalists Alliance against Gender Based Violence who took the girl to the hospital said she noticed that the girl was lying helplessly in the market square.
According to Daniels, ” I was moved by the little girl’s pitiable state of health, I insisted that I should be taken to the suspect’s residence. When I arrived at the place, I was confronted with a pool of blood in the suspect’s apartment and blood stains were noticed in the premises.
“The suspect’s door was locked and there was no indication that he was within the neighbourhood.’’
However, it was learnt that the news of the incident had spread like wildfire, prompting youths in the community to launch a manhunt for the culprit who found him in his hometown in Oku Iboku where he had gone to hide in his pastor’s house.
Speaking in an interview, Fabian Ikpe the youth leader of Use Offot said the community was worried about such a heinous crime and had to search for the suspect, adding that when he was found, he wanted to know whether he would be allowed to go scot-free.
“We told him that he should cooperate with us but we took him to the police station,’’ he said.
Giving his statement at the Ewet Police station, the suspect who confessed to the crime said that apart from being a tricycle operator, he is a senior official of a church where he is serving as an elder, adding that he dropped out of primary school.
“Yes I slept with her but when I noticed that she was bleeding, I erased the blood from the floor,’’ he said.
It was further gathered that the wife of Governor Udom Emmanuel, Martha Udom Emmanuel has waded into the matter with a view to giving the girl special medical treatment.
The senior police officer who took the statement from the suspect said he would be taken to court at the conclusion of investigation.
Meanwhile, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr.Glory Edet said at least, seven persons have been convicted of rape and defilement in the state so far.