A man, Bright Okutuoma, has been arrested by policemen attached to the Rumuni Police Station of the Rivers State Police Command for allegedly defiling a five-year-old girl around the Ibaa community, in the Emohua Local Government Area of the state.
Our correspondent learnt that Okutuoma was at home when he beckoned on her neighbour’s daughter to help him buy a sachet of water.
The victim’s mother, while at the Cool/Wazobia/Info fm in the Port Harcourt area of the state, chronicled the events that led to the alleged defilement of her daughter by Okutuoma and demanded justice.
Speaking in the company of her husband and daughter at the station, the mother of the minor said when her daughter returned with the sachet of water, Okutuoma took her into his flat and allegedly defiled her.
The aggrieved mother said after her neighbour perpetrated the crime, he told her daughter she would die if she informed anybody about the illicit act, adding that she got to know her daughter had been defiled when her school teacher observed blood stains on her pants.
The mother said, “When my daughter went to school, the teacher told me to come to the school to see my daughter. When I got there, I observed her pants and clothes were stained with blood and water. So, I carried her back home and after some hours, I asked her to tell me what happened to her.
“She told me that the day Bright Okutuoma called her to buy a sachet of water for him, after buying the water, the man carried her, dropped her on his bed and used a pillow to cover her mouth. She said she did not tell me on that day because the boy told her that if she opens her mouth (to tell anyone) she will die.”
The victim’s mother, while expressing sadness over the development, said ever since Okutuoma allegedly defiled her daughter, her health had deteriorated, adding that she could no longer control herself when she wanted to pee or defecate.
“I have been using all the money I have to buy drugs but two to three days after (she uses) the drugs, the problem will continue. I no longer have money for treatment.
“My daughter can’t defecate or urinate on her own. The poo and pee just comes out on its own and her pants will be stained. She cannot even walk well with one of her legs and can’t stand well if you don’t hold her,” the mother said while shedding tears.
We gathered that policemen of the Rumuni Police Station arrested Okutuoma on June 13, 2023, following the intervention of residents in the community.
In a bid to get justice, the victim’s mother said she had been closely following up the case.
She, however, noted that a policewoman in charge of the case had been trying to pervert the course of justice, adding that at the behest of Okutuoma’s family, the policewoman allegedly offered her N500, 000 to silence her outcry for justice.
She said, “What I need is that they should take this matter to court so that the government will know what this man did to my little daughter. I reported the suspect to the police but instead of the suspect spending money, I am the one feeding the suspect.
“A policewoman at the station asked me to keep quiet because I don’t have any say. She said the parents of the man want to bring N500,000 and that if I don’t want to accept I should be coming to their office. Since then, whenever I enter their office, the same woman will walk me out despite being the complaint.”
Speaking on the matter, a lawyer, Gift Nsirim, urged the state Commissioner of Police, Emeka Nwonyi, to order a probe of the policewoman accused of attempting to sweep the case under the carpet.
He said, “It will serve as a deterrent if this matter is handled properly. The suspect should be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department so that they will transfer the case to the High Court that has jurisdiction to entertain this matter.”
Contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed that Okutuoma had been arrested, adding that the case would be transferred to the State CID after the holidays for proper investigation.
“The complaint should go to the Rumuni Police Division so that the matter can be transferred to the State CID and so that they can charge the matter to court. But the suspect in question is in police custody,” she said.
On the allegation that a policewoman, on behalf of the suspect, offered N500,000 to the mother for the case to be settled out of court, the PPRO said, “If there is any conversation to settle out of court, the police is not aware of that. The Divisional Police Officer said he is ready to transfer the matter to the State CID, but the complainant is not forthcoming.
“So we (police) are not aware of any negotiation for out of court settlement and if any police officer is helping to do that he or she is on his own because the position of the DPO is very clear.”