Ex-lawmaker arrested over alleged rape of teenager in Cross River

A FORMER member of the Cross River State House of Assembly Patrick Uguge has been taken into police custody over the alleged rape of a 19-year-old girl.

Principal Counsel at the Basic Right Counsel Initiative (BRCI) James Ibor confirmed to The ICIR that the ex-lawmaker was arrested on Thursday, April 27.

The teenager, said to be a relative of Uguge’s wife, reported the alleged rape to the BRCI. The unnamed teenager alleged that the incident occurred at a hotel in Ogoja on Friday, April 21.

Ibor said: “I can confirm that the survivor reported to us, and we are trying to stabilise her, we are providing psycho-social support to her, and we have notified the police to investigate the case. He was arrested yesterday (Thursday) night. I am aware that the police have commenced investigations, even though there is a lot of pressure on them which is capable of suffocating investigations.

“In fact, the Police Headquarters has become a tourist site, sort of. They’ve been swarming around the station and calling some of my staff to mount pressure on me.”




     

     

    He also stressed the need for rape cases to be adequately prosecuted and called on the Commissioner of Police (CP) in the state, Sule Balarabe, to ensure the prosecution of the suspect.

    “My only concern is that the pressure on the survivor and the investigators is actually unnecessary. I want to use this opportunity to urge the CP Balarabe, to bow out honourably by refusing to be intimidated or harassed by these political office holders who should be held to account,” he said.

    The ICIR contacted the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Cross River State Police Command, Irene Ugbo, who also confirmed that Uguge had been arrested.

    “I have confirmed the case. The man is with us, they are interrogating him now,” she said.

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    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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