By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Three months after the arrest of Mr. Edet Okon Asim, a former Chairman of Calabar Municipality and Special Adviser to Governor Ayade on Biodiversity, he will now be arraigned at the High Court on charges of raping a fifteen year old girl.
Edet Asim will be charged along with two other accomplices, according to the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions DPP, in the Attorney-General’s office in Calabar.
CrossRiverWatch had earlier reported that Mr. Okon Asim, a respected politician in the State, was arrested for continously defiling an underaged girl (names withheld) for a period spanning about three years.
Also arrested with him was the victim’s mother, Stella Noah Efiok, who is Edet Okon’s mistress; as well as Dr. Abeng Enangha Sunday, a private medical practioner in Calabar and Obot Okon Udofia, a politician in Uyo.
In her statement to the police, the victim alleged that her step father, Edet Okon Asim, was having sex with her mother and herself. Her mother was aware that her step father was having sex with her and had gotten her pregnant before. When she informed her aunt at Uyo about the pregnancy, her aunt gave her some drugs which she inserted in her private part and the pregnancy was terminated.
She said at Uyo, her cousin sister Etumbok, took her to a politician, Obot Okon Udofia, who also had sex with her at Calabar in April 2018 and also at Uyo and got her pregnant and infected. When she informed Obot Udofia, of the pregnancy, he denied being responsible. She said this led her to start taking drugs and alcohol. Her mother gave her some drugs to insert in her private part and also some oral drugs to take to abort the pregnancy.
She said when she came back to Calabar, her step father again came like a thief and slept with her at night not knowing that she was pregnant. When she went to school, she became sick and had to call her mother who came to carry her to Dr. Abeng Enangha Sunday clinic.
It was at the hospital that Dr. Abeng carried out an evacuation on her. After the evacuation, she returned to school still emotionally down. Her mother asked her to keep everything secret and give her time to sort out things with her step father so that he does not stop paying her fees. On the 9th of December 2018, she said she saw her period but felt very severe pains from her waist to her womb and back and she vomited some yellow substance. This almost led to her death.
Curiously, the Police did not charge the suspects at the magistrate court but simply handed the case file to the DPP, after investigation.
But after reviewing evidence from Police investigation against the facts of law, the Attorney General of Cross River state, Mr. Joe Oshie Abang, told CrossRiverWatch that “I have since okayed the trial of Edet Okon Asim and two of the other suspects. I okayed that opinion before Easter and they will be charged at the High Court.
“I have signed the opinion and it’s a public document in my office. There are too many cases of defilement of minors in the state. Every week, we receive 5 to 6 cases of defilement and Cross River state is determined to deal with this problem headlong by making sure offenders are punished and we have been doing this to the admiration of several organizations who have recognized our effort with several awards.”
In the advice of the DPP which was also made available to CrossRiverWatch from the AGs office, the DPP said,
“On the issue of rape, it is our considered opinion that the statement of the victim, an underage who stated that the first suspect ( Ntufam Edet Okon Asim) sexually molested her and got her pregnant and also stated that the 4th suspect (Obot Okon Udofia), also sexually assaulted her and got her pregnant are credible evidence for us to proceed against the two suspects, their denial not withstanding. Our resolve to ascribe probative value to the allegations of the victim that the 1st and 4th suspects, sexually molested her and got her pregnant on different occasions is largely premised on the fact that this is the statement of a witness who is narrating first hand, what happened to her and we are convinced that the victim could not have singled out the suspects for this serious allegations, especially considering the special relationship she had with the first suspect. She is in our considered opinion, a witness of truth.
“We have equally considered the involvement of the second suspect (mother of the victim) and the 3rd suspect (the medical doctor) on the allegation of procurement of abortion. It is our opinion that the statement of the victim that her mother gave her some drugs which terminated the second pregnancy is credible enough and establishes a prima facie case against the second suspect. The same cannot however be said of the 3rd suspect who only carried out an evacuation of the attempted abortion. The 3rd suspect did what he did to save the life of the victim and so should not be prosecuted for this noble action.
“Based on the analysis of the facts and the law in relation thereto:
It is recommended as follows:
a. We shall prosecute the 1st and 4th suspects for the offence of rape alone.
b. We shall prosecute the 2nd suspect for the reckless and negligent act which endangered the life of the victim
c. We decline to prosecute the 3rd suspect for any offence since none has been disclosed.
Earlier, lawyers to the victim had dragged the matter before a family court in Calabar presided over by Magistrate Eunice Dada, of the Calabar Magistrate Division, seeking to strip off and transfer the Guardianship of the victim from Edet Okon Asim and his mistress.
The family court gave a judgment on the matter on April 18, 2019, where it decided that:
i. The Guardianship of Mr. Edet Okon Asim over the victim is hereby revoke forthwith.
ii. Pastor Mrs Mary Wilson, shall have the temporarily Guardianship of the applicant.
iii. For the purpose of the victim’s physical, psychological healing, Pastor Mrs Mary Wilson, shall provide the parental guidance and counselling as would a biological mother until the victim attains the age of majority which is 18 years, when she will decide for herself, whom she will permanently recognize and deal with as her mother.
iv. Mrs Stella Noah, shall reflect soberly on all that has transpired and shall constantly put her daughter in prayer for the best. Her responsibility in providing necessities for her daughter like fees, clothing and other needs still rest with her.
v. The authorities of the Federal Government Girls College Calabar, shall strike out the names of Edet Okon Asim and Mrs Stella Noah, as the guardians of the victim in their records and shall replace same with Pastor Mrs. Mary Wilson.
Meanwhile CrossRiverWatch has gathered that news of Okon Edet’s pending trial has reached him and has also rattled his circle of influential friends who are already working frantically in last minute efforts to thwart his trial.
There are also fears among followers of the matter that if the police doesn’t move fast to re-arrest the suspects, some may make effort to elope.
But the Attorney General allayed these fears saying “At this point it is difficult to save anyone unless I want to put my career in jeopardy. Trial is proceeding immediately.” He said.