A middle-aged man identified simply as Nanso has been arrested by the police in Rivers State for allegedly defiling a 10-year-old girl.
The incident happened on Ekwulobia Street, Mile 3, Diobu, Port Harcourt on Wednesday, but the suspect was handed over to the police on Friday.
A resident of the area identified only as Ben said but for the intervention of a landlord in the compound who called the police, an angry mob would have lynched the suspect.
According to Ben, the suspect was caught by a neighbour while having carnal knowledge of the girl.
“The suspect claimed it was not done by force and that the girl consented to it. He also claimed he only robbed ‘it’ (his manhood) on the surface of the girl’s private parts and did not penetrate. He claimed he asked the girl to close her laps.’’
It was learnt that the incident was revealed on Friday when the girl’s mother identified only as Christiana discovered bloodstain on her daughter’s underwear and enquired what happened to her.
Christiana reportedly said her daughter disclosed to her that a family friend, who regularly visited their house, attacked her and raped her when there no one was around, adding that he also threatened to kill her if she told anyone about what happened.
Sunday PUNCH learnt that after learning about what transpired, Christiana alerted the youth of the community after which they apprehended the suspect and handed him over to the police.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the incident, advising parents and guardians to always watch over their children, especially at a period when sexual harassment was on the increase.
Omoni said, “Yes, I can confirm the incident. The suspect has been arrested and taken to the state Criminal Investigation Department and is being investigated.
“Parents should be able to monitor the movements of their children, especially the vulnerable ones so that they don’t run into the hands of those who might want to take advantage of them and have carnal knowledge of them.”
The state PPRO added that the command had recorded a sharp increase in reports of domestic violence as well as sexual harassment and was tackling them accordingly to ensure a safe environment for residents.
He said, “These are strange times, such that everybody has to be cautious. In a situation where residents are locked indoors, the tendency for social problems to arise is there. Within this period, we have recorded a rise in matrimonial and domestic crises; wives quarrelling and fighting their husbands, husbands beating their wives because when they are asked to stay together indoors. Temptations will come and some may not resist them.
We also recorded a case of homosexuality at Oroworokwo where a man had unlawful carnal knowledge of a 14-year-old boy. The man has been arrested and is being investigated at the state CID.’’