An octogenarian identified as Vincent Okoye from Umueri community in Anambra East Local Government Area has been arrested for allegedly defiling a 10-year-old girl.
The suspect, who is a building contractor and a member of the Umueri royal cabinet, is said to be a friend of the girl’s mother and usually sends the victim on errands.
It was gathered that the crime was reported at the Police Area Command, Otuocha Division, by the Umuada Umueri and the perpetrator was arrested.
Confirming the crime and the arrest, the community monarch, Igwe Benneth Emeka, while addressing members of the All Nations Arise and Manifest Initiative, on Saturday, said the suspect has been suspended from his cabinet, adding that the crime is a taboo in the community, which they don’t condone.
Emeka said, “The suspect in question is a member of my cabinet, he is my financial secretary and immediately the matter was reported, we suspended him and he can never come back to the cabinet again.
“The matter has been taken to court and that shows that the community does not condone such crime. We have also given the girl scholarship to show our concern and protect her future. It could have been anybody’s child.
“I am advising parents, especially mothers to be cautious and take responsibility for the safety and security of their children.”
The state Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed that the suspect had been arrested and charged to court.
Also speaking, the Prosecutor handling the matter, Inspector Richard Okoti, confirmed that the suspect was arraigned at Otuocha Chief Magistrates’ Court on April 29, where he pleaded not guilty and he was granted bail on health grounds.
Okoti said the police on Friday, submitted its compliance report and the court adjourned sine die.
However, the President, ANAM Transformation Movement, Mrs Tessy Aniesi, expressed dissatisfaction as the matter has been adjourned indefinitely and urged the police to ensure justice for the victim.
Aniesi said the case was brought to the organisation by the Chairperson of Umuada Umueri, Mrs Chinasa Madisife.
She explained that the victim was taken to the New Life Hospital, Umueri, where it was confirmed that she was defiled.
She said, “Workers at the building site the suspect was supervising said they noticed that each time the girl comes to run errands for the suspect, he takes her to a completed building at the site and lock the door.
“On April 26, they saw her come out of the building crying. They called her and she narrated that the suspect always have sex with her whenever her mother ask her to come run errands for him.
“The workers confronted the man and called the attention of the vigilante group, the Igwe and the Umuada of Umueri community, and eventually ANAM took up the matter.
“During interrogation, the girl said the suspect has been abusing her but she could not report the crime to her mother or anyone because the man threatened to kill her.”