The Nigerian Police has arraigned a Liaison officer of Ebonyi local government origin in Ebonyi state before a chief magistrate court sitting in Abakaliki for indecent assault of a SS3 female student.
The liaison officer one Mr. Sunday Awoke was docked on one count charge suit numbered MAB/309c/ 2020 for allegedly assaulting a 19 years old SS3 female student, one miss Ejeh (surname withheld by us to avoid stigma) indecently by pressing her breast without her consent.
During the arraignment, the defendant Mr. Sunday Awoke having listened to the charge pleaded not guilty as charged.
On his part, the defendant’s defence counsel, Nwankwo Chigozie Esq prayed the court to grant his client bail, promised he wouldn’t jump bail, being a known government appointee in the area and has a reliable surety in the person of their community prime minister.
The police prosecutor ASP Ezeh N. opposed the bail application said the victim’s life had been threatened as granting him bail will worsen the situation.
He said the suspect thereby committed an offence punishable under section 360 of the criminal code cap 33 volume 1 laws of Ebonyi state of Nigeria, 2009.
However, the trial magistrate his worship Chief Magistrate Nnenna Onuoha granted the defendant bail one million naira in like sum, defendant to present a surety who must be resident within jurisdiction of the court, surety must be recommended by their village traditional ruler who must present his task clearance certificate for three years, defendant to write undertaken to guarantee safety of the victim.
The matter was adjourned to 27th July, 2020 for hearing.
Hope Anemhen Esq held watching brief for the nominal complainant International Federation of women lawyers (FIDA) during the arraignment.
Addressing newsmen, the state chairperson of FIDA Barr. Grace Chima frowned at the charge of indecent assault in the suit instead of rape but assured that FIDA shall follow the matter to a local conclusion.
Meanwhile, narrating her ordeal to newsmen after the court proceedings, miss Ejeh said the male liaison officer Mr. Sunday Awoke alongside a female came to their family house at Ogbaga road axis of the state capital on 19th April, 2020 for house -to -house sensitization against covid-19 and sharing of facemasks, borrowed her brother’s pair of sandals with a promise to return it the following day, but unfortunately raped her during the visit despite all her pleas.
She spoke thus amidst tears, “On 19th April, two liaison officers came to our house to share facemask a man and a woman. The man is Mr Sunday Awoke, am yet to know the woman’s name. After sharing the facemask and sensitization, when they were about leaving Mr. Awoke said he had injury on the leg and could no longer wear his shoe, so he asked for my brother’s sandal which was just within sight there with a promise to return it the following day. So we gave him the sandal and he left his shoe in our house.
“The following day, on Monday 20th April he came back, by then my mother had gone to work. On arrival instead of giving the sandal to my brother who opened the gate for him, he sent him on an errand and locked the gate.”
“Just the two of us were in the entire compound. Before I knew what was happening he came into the living room dragged me further in to the room, pressing my breast so hard, tore my clothes, at that point I managed to struggle my underwear with him but to no avail.”
“In the course of struggling, I fell off the bed and hit my head on the floor. He got me back to the bed knelt on my thighs and started forcing his manhood into my vagina. When he did not succeed because I have not done that before, he started using his finger and his manhood intermittently despite my entire plea for mercy”, miss Ejeh lamented.