© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
EXCLUSIVE: Police release man, 42, who ‘raped’ three-year-old niece
The Nasarawa State Police Command has released Austin Idoko, a 42-year old who allegedly raped his three-year-old relative in Masaka, a border town not far from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, the ICIR can authoritatively report.
Idoko (third from right, spotting black cap), a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, was allegedly caught naked by neighbours and parents of the little girl at a nearby riverside where he allegedly had canal knowledge of her. The incident happened on November 9, 2017 at about 9pm.
Wanda Adu Foundation, a non-governmental foundation seeking justice for the little girl and her parents, told the ICIR that the suspect was released on bail without the knowledge of the victim’s parents.
“The Police released Austin on bail without informing the complainant,” Wanda Adu, Executive Director of the foundation, said.
“On January 15, 2018, at about 3pm, the father of the girl received a call from the Superintendent of Police in Lafiya asking him to come to the station stating that the suspect was released because his family pleaded for long,” Adu said.
“Information got to us that he was released on December 23, 2017 (but) we are working to ensure that this little and innocent girl gets justice after being defiled by a man who is old enough to be her father. It is so sad how some men have turned to beasts in recent times.”
The victim’s father, who asked not to be named because of the girl, is seeking justice for his traumatized daughter.
Meanwhile, a medical report has revealed how the suspect allegedly defiled the three-year-old Kindergarten girl.
The report, issued at Asokoro General Hospital, Abuja, and exclusively obtained by ICIR, gave a clear illustration of how the toddler was harassed by her supposed uncle.
Witnesses said Idoko admitted to assaulting the girl, following which he was beaten by the search team before being dragged to Masaka Police Station, where he was detained that evening.
The father of the victim, a former chef for a one-time Governor of Bauchi State, told ICIR that he left his daughter in the care of her older siblings to take a neigbhour’s child, who had collapsed in the morning, to a hospital.
But Idoko came to pick the girl from her parents’ apartment in the evening while the father was still away. He told her older siblings, seven and 12 years old respectively, that he was going to buy snacks for their sister.
That was the last they saw of him and the girl until about 9pm when their father came back and inquired about the little girl’s whereabouts.
When none of her older brothers could say the whereabouts of their little sister, a search party was hurriedly formed and a house-to-house search began. Eventually, the party came upon both Idoko and his victim at a bush by a river.
According to the little girl, Idoko, who is not married but has a 12-year-old son, “put his finger in her private part, and later pressed her body on his lap and pushed himself in her in spite of her screams and requests for him to stop”.
The search team, comprising community members, rescued the girl, who was said to be bleeding at that moment, and she was rushed to Masaka Central Hospital immediately.
The little girl’s narrative was corroborated by a medical report signed by Uzochi Oje, a medical doctor on behalf of the head of the Pediatrics Department of Asokoro General Hospital, Abuja.
According to the report, “gynecological examination revealed, brownish sticky discharge and dried blood were seen on the vulva and vagina.
“Based on the assessment of the victim, the report concluded that “findings were consistent with sexual assault in a child.”
Another report, the Police Medical report issued at Masaka Central Hospital, where the little girl was first rushed immediately after the incident, confirmed that she was molested.
The report, issued on November 10, 2017 and signed by Nwagu V.C, a medical doctor, stated that the little girl was brought to the hospital bleeding. It also confirmed traumatic vaginal penetration of the girl by the suspect.
The girl, who is in Nursery II, was taken afterwards to the Asokoro General Hospital, run by the Federal Capital Territory administration, with a referral from Nyanya General Hospital for alleged sexual assault.
She had been taken to Nyanya General Hospital three hours after the incident but was referred to Asokoro Hospital due to lack of bed space.
In his statement at Masaka Police Station, the girl’s father said she was found with Idoko in a bush looking dirty and crying with blood stains on her body and clothes.
He told ICIR that Idoko came to his house after he was granted bail to boast about having regained his freedom.
“He was released on December 23, 2017 and he even came to my house to tell me that I thought he would die in the jail. He was insulting everyone that took part in beating and taking him to the station,” he said.
The suspect, he added, had since been hiding somewhere in Gwagwalada.
When contacted, Kingsley Anokwute, the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) who handled the case when it was first reported at Masaka Police Station, said it had been transferred to Nasarawa State CID.
Asked if he was aware that Idoko had been released, he said: “I don’t know because I’m not in Lafiya, but it is possible that he might have been released. You can go to Lafiya to confirm.”