Mother of four sexually violated, murdered in Imo
• Man rapes, kills brother’s wife in Zamfara
• Concerned students urge lawmakers, NOA to support death penalty for rapists
• Declare state of emergency on rape, Lagos FIDA chairperson advocates
The Imo State government has expressed determination to fish out suspected ritualists who allegedly killed a 45-year-old woman, Mrs Susanna Iwuoha, after raping her.
Iwuoha, a mother of four from Alaocha, Umuchiaku, in Lowa-Okata autonomous community, Ihitte Uboma Local Government Area, was found dead with her face immersed into a local stream some days after she left home for her farmland.
The woman, whose undergarment was carted away by her attackers, was discovered by a community search party after her children raised the alarm over her disappearance since June 3. One Bernard Ekeka, who is believed to have seen the unidentified attackers, was also killed.
According to Iwuoha’s 15-year-old daughter, Ugochi, they had earlier gone to the farm together for weeding and returned home before her mother decided to return later that day to harvest some crops.
During a visit to the community on Sunday, Commissioner for Special Projects, Simon Ebegbulem, appealed to residents to avail the police of any useful information to aid the arrest of the perpetrators. Ebegbulem, who hails from the area, was accompanied on a condolence visit to the deceased’s aged mother, Madam Angela Iwuoha, by the Divisional Police Officer, Etiti Division, Charles Njoku.
He assured the people that the administration of Governor Hope Uzodinma would do everything within its power to ensure that justice prevails.
“No stone will be left unturned to ensure that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are brought to justice,” he said.
Meanwhile, the police in Zamfara State have confirmed the arrest of a 25-year-old man, Aminu Bala, for allegedly raping and killing his elder brother’s wife in Gusau. SP Mohammed Shehu, the command spokesperson while parading the suspect on Monday, said Bala had already confessed to the crime.
Shehu said the suspect hailed from Damaga village of Maradun Local Government area of the state. He said: “The Tudun Wada Area Command, Gusau on June 15, at about 04.30 hours, received a distress call from Damba quarters of Gusau metropolis that the suspect had killed his brother’s wife.
“The police immediately rushed to the scene and discovered the victim, Hauwa’u Iliyasu in the pool of her own blood having suffered from multiple machete cuts. She was then taken to the Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital, Gusau where she was certified dead by doctors.”
The spokesman also said the police had contacted the victim’s husband, Kabiru Bala via phone call. “He was not in the state, but told the police that the suspect had once threatened to kill the victim,” he said.
Shehu said that the command was awaiting the arrival of the victim’s husband and his written statement which would form part of evidence before the suspect would be prosecuted in court.
Hauwa’u left behind two children including, a nine-month-old baby.
Meanwhile, a group of students have urged lawmakers and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to support death penalty for rapists. Citing the recent case of a student of University of Benin, Uwaila Omozuwa, who was raped and killed and another student, Barakat Bello, who was raped in her parents’ house in Ibadan, the group said all stakeholders must rise and take a decision that would nip the act in the bud.
Speaking with The Guardian, the president of the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), Sunday Asuku, said: “The recent rape cases in the country should be critically looked into. Rape is an offence that deserves capital punishment. It has sent so many of our young girls with promising future to their early graves and the most painful part is that, we barely see or hear of harsh penalties awarded these rapists.”
In the same vein, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria, Lagos State branch, has called on the government at all levels to declare a state of emergency on rape and other gender-based crimes in the country.
FIDA chairperson for Lagos State, Mrs Philomena Nneji, made this known at a rally to curb the alarming increase of sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) cases in the country.
Nneji called for enhanced enforcement mechanism for the effective implementation of VAPP Act, Protection Against Domestic Violence Law of Lagos State, Child Rights Law of Lagos, and other related laws. She called on states of the federation that have not adopted the VAPP Act and Child Rights Act of 2003 to do as a matter of urgency.
The chairperson added that “FIDA insists on the arrest, prosecution, conviction, and punishment of offenders as well as the setup and activation of ‘Gender Desk’ in all police posts or stations manned by trained personnel and free opening of case files for Gender-Based Violence cases.”
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