The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has ordered thorough investigation into the alleged rape of one Idowu Akinwunmi by the Divisional Police Officer, DPO in charge of Onikan Station, Adekunle Awe.
Abubakar also ordered that Awe’s case be transferred to Abuja and that the findings of the investigation be made public to serve as a deterrent to others.
Akinwunmi, a 31-year-old mother of two, had accused Awe, a superintendent of Police of raping her on April 15, 2014 while in police custody after she was arrested by men of the Onikan Police station following a complaint lodged by her employer, Idowu Pelumi, accusing her of bringing a male friend to her restaurant to pass the night.
Narrating her ordeal, Akinwunmi said “I work at an eatery on Keffi Street, Obalende, as a cook. The eatery also has a tailor’s shop in the compound and it belongs to the same person. There is also a quarters where we all live in the compound. Most of the workers are from Cotonou, Benin Republic.”
She said last Monday, a popular customer, known as Friday, who had been making advances at her came to eat and left, but later returned to say he could not get a bus home, so she allowed him to pass the night at the restaurant.
Akinwunmi denied having anything to do with him.
According to her, when her boss found out that Friday had slept at her restaurant, she got the police to arrest her and Friday.
She continued her tale, “My madam called policemen to arrest all of us. I had only a pair of shorts, a shirt and a wrapper on. I had N11, 000 in my pocket and my phone was not with me. On getting to the station, I got the phone of a policewoman and used it to call one of the tailors to come and help. In the morning of Tuesday, two tailors, Ben and Matthias, arrived to bail out their friends, but they were also arrested, bringing our total number to six.”
Akinwunmi said the following day which was Wednesday April 15th, she ran into the DPO of the police station after using the bathroom and narrated to him how she landed at the station when he asked, she said he then invited her to his office and had sex with her without using a condom.
“Around 10pm on Tuesday, the DPO sent a policeman to call Friday and I. I was wearing boxers and a top. I stayed at the counter and Friday went in to see the DPO. A few minutes later, Friday came out and the DPO called me in. The DPO said he could make sure that I spent the rest of my life in jail, but I begged him.
He then came close to me and started rubbing his hands all over my body but I rejected his advances. He said my boss had told him that he could do whatever he wanted to do with me.”
“He said since I was from Benin Republic, if he killed me, nothing would happen. He said he would also make sure that the remaining five suspects would be sent to prison. At this point, the DPO had already taken off his clothes.
Since I was afraid for my life, I allowed the DPO to have his way. I begged him to use a condom, but he refused. He pushed me to a smaller room in his office and put me on the bed and had sex with me. Immediately after he had finished, he told me to shower in a bathroom inside his office.” she narrated.
Akinwunmi said the next morning while she was about to leave, the DPO asked for her number but she refused to give it to him. She said the DPO promised that with the sex she already offered, she would not pay any bail but to her surprise, N30,000 was collected from her.
Meanwhile the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria, NOPRIN, has petitioned the National Human Rights Commission over the alleged rape of Akinwunmi.
Co-coordinator of NOPRIN, Okechukwu Nwagunma, promised to follow the case to its logical conclusion with the view of getting Akinwunmi the justice she deserves.
According to reports, this is not the first time DPO would be accused of demanding sex from a woman in police custody, but surprisingly, he was granted bail Monday, after spending three days in detention.