Group Hails Court Sentencing Of Mechanic To 7 Years In Prison For Defiling 12 Years Old Girl In Oyigbo
The Rivers State Response Team on Violence Against Women & Children has hailed the judgement of a Port Harcourt Magistrate Court that yesterday sentenced one Mr. Anayo Sebastine to 7 years imprisonment without an option of fine over the defilement of a 12year old girl at Mirinwayi Community, Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State in 2021.
The Team is also calling on the Inspector-General of Police, Assistant-Inspector General of Police Zone 16, and the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, not to sweep the case of alleged captivity and defilement of 13year old girl by a Senior Police Officer (Emmanuel) in his Office at the Police Area Command, Bori, Rivers State under the carpet.
Coordinator, Rivers State Response Team on Violence Against Women & Children; and Chairman, Rivers Indigenous NGOs & Civil Society Network (RINGOCS), Tombari Dumka-Kote, stated this while speaking in reaction to the court judgement in Port Harcourt.
Dumka-Kote, who hinted that the Team followed up the case of Anayo Sebastine since it was reported to its office in the year 2021, said the judgement has come 2 years after the suspect was first arraigned in court.
“As a Team, we want to express our satisfaction with the court decision as it will serve as a deterrent to other persons who would have committed related crimes. However, it is important to state that the long period during which the matter lasted in court almost got family members and parents of the survivor discouraged. Especially after the suspect was on bail and had continued to brag to them that nothing will happen. Today we can beat our chest to the streets again that perpetrators of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) will certainly face the law” Dumka-Kote Stated.
According to him, the Team is maintaining its position on the call for establishment of special courts to try only cases of Domestic and Sexual Violence, and a policy that prosecutors of all such cases and related matters proffer charges under the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law 2020 and other relevant State laws to ensure proper charge of suspected perpetrators and a quick dispensation of justice to the parties concerned.
On the defilement of a 13 year old girl, by a Police Officer serving at the Area Command, Bori, the Team commended the Police high command for their effort so far in the arrest of the officer involved saying it is another good attempt at ridden the force of rotten eggs.
Dumka-Kote cautioned the Police authorities not to be tempted into trying to sweep the matter under the carpet, but to make public the findings of its investigation, and ensure prosecution, should the officer be found wanting.
He declared that the war against sexual and gender based violence can only be won through a joint effort of all stakeholders, and by ensuring that laws put in place to protect women and children are implemented to the later.