A Nigerian man may be in serious trouble after being accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in Enugu state.
The man, identified as Okwudili, a shop owner at Proda junction in Enugu State, was accused of kidnapping, torturing and gang-raping a 16-year old girl in connivance with four alleged cult members.
Okwudili and his accomplices reportedly inscribed N50,000 on the back of the victim and left her unconscious in remote farmland in the state before they reluctantly invited the victim's sister, Prisca Eze, to pick up her sibling.
In two petitions to the commissioner of police in Enugu State, Ahmed Abdulrahman, SaharaReporters learned that the victim was an apprentice to a fruit seller close to Okwudili's shop.
"On Friday, November 6, Mr Okwudili was going out early in the afternoon and handed his shop key to the victim and asked her to help him look after his shop," the petition signed by the Rule of Law Accountability and Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) read.
"Mr. Okwudili did not come back as at 6 p.m. when Goodness was ready to close work and go home."
According to the letter to Abdulrahman, the victim traced Okwudili's wife and handed the key to her before going home.
When the victim returned to work on Monday, Okwudili accused her of stealing recharge cards worth N50,000 from his shop.
He then went on to invite the four cult boys who beat up the girl in the stall where she was
Unsatisfied with their day's work, the boys who were reportedly armed with guns took the victim to her house and continued the beating in the presence of her sister.
"When she – Mrs Eze asked them to stop beating her sister, they pulled their guns and threatened her," the petition pointed out.
Powerless to do anything, Eze watched helplessly as her sister was taken away by the cultists and Okwudili.
The petitioner said she searched for her sister from Monday morning up until 5 p.m. when she succeeded in obtaining Okwudili's number.
When she called the mastermind, "he asked her to come to Ituku Emene for her sister."
"Mrs Eze said she went to Ituku village with her husband and when they saw Okwudili, he took them to a farmland where he showed them Goodness lying unconscious in a pool of blood with injuries all over her body," the petition read.
"She and her husband took Goodness to a hospital where, after she had regained consciousness; she narrated to them how Okwudili and the four young cult members gang-raped her and used a knife to inscribe 50K on her back."
The initial petition seeking justice for the victim was written by the president, Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network, Olu Omotayo.
When SaharaReporters spoke to him, he said he had received only a single call from the police on the matter and the investigation had yet to commence despite a second complaint from RULAAC.
"After I heard what happened to the girl from a pastor who knows I'm into human rights, I went to the hospital, saw the girl and wrote a petition to the CP – Abdulrahman," Omotayo said.
"A policewoman called me a few days later and said the CP saw my petition and asked the area commander to investigate the case."
Omotayo said the police had developed cold feet on getting justice for the victim, due to pressure from Prisca Eze's husband, Ejike.
"Ejike has been compromised according to what I gathered from the policewoman," he said. "He was not helpful to the policewoman.
"I told the woman that even if the husband – Ejike is not cooperating, you can talk to the girl and her sister and find out where the suspect lives. I think he has a shop close to where the victim works."
When SaharaReporters spoke to Pastor Onyekachi Chukwu, the man who brought the human rights lawyer into the picture, he said Ejike had been threatening to evict his wife and her sister if the case was not dropped.
"The husband is saying that if the case moves on, he will sack the wife and the sister, and they don't have anywhere to go," the pastor said.