By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Women from Okuni Community in Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River state on Monday, took to the streets to demand justice for a woman who was gang-raped in the presence of her husband.
Numbering over one thousand, the women, dressed in black, commenced their peaceful march at the police station in Ikom and proceeded to the Local Government Council.
According to them, the incident took place on November 6, 2017, when gunmen attacked the victim on the farm, and they are coming out to protest after watching the months go by with no justice.
Beyond raping the woman, the gang was said to have stolen 12 bags of cocoa from others on the farm.
Giving an account of the incident to Channels Television, one of the women leaders of the community, Maria Akpet, said the woman who was raped, her husband and some other families had gone to spend the night on their farms.
According to her, in the middle of the night, some armed boy attacked them.
“They brought out the (woman’s) husband, and other men that were inside there and started beating them,” she said.
“Then they took out their wives, tied the husband and then they raped the wife before the man and then the cocoa that these boys plucked and kept, they stole everything.”
The community reported the matter to the police but are unhappy with how it was treated.
“These two cases – the rape and theft – were reported to the police but in the long run, the file for rape got missing. The only file left was for stealing the cocoa,” Akpet said.
She added that one of the culprits who was earlier arrested after the incident was released on bail without adequate sanctions by the police.
The protesting community residents, therefore, appealed to the Commissioner of Police and all relevant authorities to wade into the issue and ensure that the rape victim gets justice.
Beyond that, the community is eager to avoid a repeat of the attack and rape.
Akpet explained their concerns, saying, “We know that, tomorrow, it might happen to another person again – especially those spinsters that don’t have husbands; they can even rape and kill them.
“That is why we are annoyed, the women are annoyed. Why should they hide that file for rape and produce only the one for stealing?”
She added, “That is why we came out today to say today is a black Monday and the women want to put a stop to it. Even if people are being bribed, they cannot bribe in such a case of rape. That is why we want to move to the police then the SSS, the council and then the ministry of justice with our placards and then to tell them of our grievances.”
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