By Ike Uchechukwu, Vanguard Newspaper
A 73-year-old retired army Captain, Bassey Ekanem has raped his 4-year-old niece in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
The incident Vanguard gathered occurred at 12 Edim Ibangaha Street, Big Qua Town, Calabar.
Vanguard also learned that the suspect claimed he was under the influence of alcohol and couldn’t understand why he committed the act.
Findings showed that the victim (names withheld) was violated by the Uncle whom she referred to as grandpa.
A source who pleaded anonymity told Vanguard that the retired army Captain has been in the North for years before he came to Calabar after retiring from the army.
“He (suspect) had sent the lady living with him to make soup, while she went to buy fish at Marian market, Bassey lured the little girl into his apartment and started fingering her and broke her hymen in the process.
“It was the victim’s younger brother who is about 2 years who told their mother that grandpa put her hand inside her sister’s ‘bum bum’ before their mother raised alarm and the matter was reported to Akim Police station.”
When contacted, the Principal Counsel, Basic Right Council Initiative, James Ibor Esq, said the case was one amongst many adding that rape incidents were becoming increasingly alarming.
“I am heartbroken and appalled by the increasing number of rape every day in Calabar and beyond, the Child Rights Act really needs to be implemented to the latter because the girl child is going through a lot.
“This particular matter cannot be swept under the carpet and the suspect must face the full wrath of the law even though they are related, because in most cases when the case is gaining momentum, a lot of pressure starts coming in for the matter to become compromised especially when it has to do with a relative.
“He is now in Police custody and we expect our officers to do a thorough job because this is one too many in the rape saga ravaging the country, it didn’t start today but it’s high time people started speaking up, rape is a serious crime.
“The suspect has confessed to the act and it is only the Court that can determine whether he had the capacity to carry out the act as there are claims he was under the influence of alcohol at the time he committed the abominable act,” Ibor said.
Ibor who is also the Chairperson, Child Protection Network in Cross River called on parents to enlighten their children at a very early age as signs and other emotional signals can be detected early like the younger brother to the victim who is just about 2 years did.
“There is a need to teach both the boy and girl child at a tender age because it’s because of what the little brother understood that exposed the matter in the first place, so educate your children always,” he said.
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