Deputy Governor of Lagos State Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire has said the state will leave nothing to chance in ensuring that Hamzat Afeez, who allegedly raped a three-year old girl (names withheld) on Remi Ogunjimi Street, Egbeda area of the state will face the full wrath of the law.
She stated that the suspect who was on bail had been re-arrested and transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID Yaba.
Special Adviser to the Deputy Governor on Media, Tunde Abatan, said Orelope-Adefulire had already sent a delegation to the Gowon Estate Police Station to verify the report and visit the victim.
The delegation was made up of officials from the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and Office of the Public Defender, OPD.
According to Abatan “The state government has intervened in the matter to make sure that justice is served, the deputy governor sent a delegation to the Gowon Estate Police Station and they also visited the victim’s parents.”
In a separate interview, the Director of OPD, Omotola Rotimi, who was part of the delegation, said the state would be taking over the case to ensure the matter was diligently prosecuted.
She said: “We have investigated the case and the state is taking it over. We will be working with the police to make sure it is diligently prosecuted. We have also visited the parents of the girl.”
The Executive Director of a Non-Governmental Organisation, Project Alert on Violence against Women, Mrs. Josephine Effah-Chukwuma, criticised the attempt by the police to turn the case against the parents of the victim.
She said the police lied that the victim’s father, Okechukwu collected N40, 000 to settle with the suspect, whereas it was an arrangement the station foisted on him.
“The police lied to the officials of the state government that the father of the victim collected money from the suspect and did not show interest in prosecuting the case. The state government had ordered that their two children be taken into custody, until we explained the true position of things to the officials. The act was committed on 13 December and by 17 December, the police released the suspect on bail when they knew the stance of the state government on rape. Even the victim’s father said the money was first given to the police,” Effah-Chukwuma alleged.
Effah-Chukwuma said after she listened to three-year-old Chinansa’s account, she was left in shock.
“Even the Assistant Commissioner of Police at the SCID was dismayed and almost fell from his chair. It was terrible. We have advised the couple to relocate temporarily from the area for their safety and that of their children,” she added.