After being detained for two days, a policeman in Ogun State, who was accused of defiling his wife’s apprentice, has been released.
It was learnt that the policeman, Abbey Adewunmi, was apprehended by the Ifo Police Division on Thursday, April 4, 2019 after allegedly evading arrest for weeks.
He had reportedly defiled the 13-year-old girl, Tolu (not real name), sometime in February 2019 and threatened to kill her if she divulged the information to anybody.
Trouble started for Adewunmi when the girl eventually summoned up the courage and informed her mother, Boye.
The woman told our correspondent that Tolu was living with her at the Cement area of Lagos after she separated from her husband.
Boye explained that the girl was in Junior Secondary School Two last year when her father insisted that she should relocate to Ifo, Ogun State, to live with him.
The mother said, “She was not comfortable at her father’s house and came back to me. I then took her to my aunt’s place in Orile.
“Her father insisted that I must bring her back, which I did. She was in JSS 2 before she left for her father’s house. He said he did not have money to enrol her in a school. That was how she started learning tailoring at Ifo.”
Boye stated that at a point, the father said Tolu would no longer live with him because he was usually away from home.
She said they decided she should be living with her master, who also agreed to the proposal.
She added, “In February 2019, I talked to my daughter on the phone through her friend, who is also an apprentice at the shop.
“It was during our discussion that my daughter told me her boss’ husband forcefully had sex with her and threatened to kill her if she disclosed it to anybody.
“When my brother heard of the incident, he said we should report it to the police and a human rights group. The case was reported at the Ifo Police Station.”
Boye later informed our correspondent that she was under pressure to drop the case.
The victim, in a chat with City Round, said she was washing some plates at the backyard that fateful day when the policeman took her hostage and allegedly defiled her.
She stated, “I’m 13 years old. I was learning tailoring at Ifo and living with my boss. I got there in November 2018.
“On February 2, 2019, my boss was not around and while I was washing plates at the backyard in the evening, her husband came and suddenly held me in the neck. He had sex with me there. His wife arrived and met me crying. I told her what happened but the man denied it.”
The victim’s aunt, Tosin Olofin, stated that the police wanted to sweep the case under the carpet.
She said, “The police are begging that they don’t want us to sue him. They have frustrated my sister (Boye) so much that she had decided to back off. The man was released without our knowledge.”
Adewunmi, however, denied the allegation when our correspondent contacted him on the telephone on Friday.
He said, “It is false. My mistake was that I assisted the girl to live with my family. The result of the test carried out on her showed that she had been having sex for long. All this happened because of the misunderstanding between my wife and me. I was released on bail and I have been talking with the family of the girl.”
When called last Friday for comments on the case, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, promised to contact Adewunmi’s boss for details on the matter and get back to our correspondent.
The PPRO said he had yet to have a breakthrough when our correspondent contacted him subsequently.
It was learnt that the case had been brought to the attention of a human rights organisation, Esther Child Rights Foundation, based in Lagos.
The Director of the foundation, Mrs Esther Ogwu, said the case was reported by the victim’s mother.
She, however, expressed worry that the woman was being intimidated to let go of the matter and urged the police not to brush the alleged crime under the carpet.
She said, “We have been following up the case. We made sure that the child was taken to a hospital in Lagos for test.
“Our foundation also spoke to the Investigating Police Officer in the Ifo Police Station, who is in charge of the case. We are not happy about the turn which the case has taken because the man has been released.
“The police have not done what is expected of them. Rape is a crime and every perpetrator of such should be brought to face the law.
“When conversing with the victim, she told me that the wife of the suspect beat her up after she was defiled.
“The wife stated that the little girl wanted to destroy her home. This is injustice of the highest order and it is unacceptable. This matter must not be covered. We are going to fight till justice is served.”