In Anambra, Monarch Suspends 80-yr-old Cabinet Member for Raping 10-yr-old Girl

Jun 18, 2022 - 19:16
In Anambra, Monarch Suspends 80-yr-old Cabinet Member for Raping 10-yr-old Girl

By Izunna Okafor, Awka

The Traditional Ruler of Umueri in Anambra East Local Government Area, Igwe Benneth Emeka, has suspended an 80-year-old member of the royal cabinet, Ichie Vincent Okoye, for allegedly defiling a 10-year-old minor inside an uncompleted building in the community.

The monarch, who addressed the All Nations Arise and Manifest initiative (ANAM) at his palace on Saturday, said that Ichie Okoye was the financial secretary of his cabinet, and has been indefinitely suspended from the cabinet.

He admitted that the royal scribe has brought an embarrassment to the community, and is therefore not worthy to be a member of his royal cabinet, as Umueri has zero tolerance for crime, let alone such abominable act, which is also a taboo.

“The suspect has been suspended from the royal cabinet as the alleged crime is a taboo and embarrassing to the community.

“The man 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,” he said.

Igwe Emeka also revealed that the matter had been taken to court, while the victim has been given a scholarship, as a show of concern.

“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’m advising parents, especially mothers to be cautious and take responsibility for the safety and security of their children,” he said.

On his own part, the Public Relations Officer of the Anambra State Police Command, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed that the suspect had been arrested and charged to court; while, the Resident Prosecutor handling the matter, Inspector Richard Okoti also confirmed that the suspect was recently arraigned at Otuocha Chief Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded not guilty and was granted bail on health grounds.

These notwithstanding, the President of the All Nations Arise and Manifest initiative (ANAM), Mrs Tessy Aniesi said she was not satisfied with the way the matter was being adjourned indefinitely, and urged the police to prosecute and ensure justice for the victim.

She gave a detailed explanation of how the incident happened, and revealed that matter was reported to them by the Chairperson of Umuada Umueri, Mrs Chinasa Madisife.

In her words, “The workers at the building site where the suspect is 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 has sex with her whenever her mother asks her to 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 on behalf of the mother.

“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.”

Mrs. Aniesi also called on the police and the prosecuting counsel to, please, fast-track the prosecution, to ensure that justice is quickly served on the matter.

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Izunna Okafor Izunna Okafor is an award-winning Nigerian novelist, poet, journalist, essayist, editor, translator, publicist, Igbo language activist and administrator who hails from Ebenator in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria. He writes perfectly in English and Igbo languages, and has published several books in both languages. He has received over 25 awards, and has over 2000 articles published online, both nationally and internationally, cutting across creative writing and journalism. See his full profile at: