One of the news trending in the state is the abuse of a fifteen year old girl by a former Commissioner for Information and the substantive Special Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade on biodiversity. He is reported at the moment to be in police detention, while his victim is said to be responding to treatment in an undisclosed medical facility.
It is a very disturbing piece of information that a high profile individual in government should be involved in this despicable crime against an innocent minor. Yes, a minor because the illicit relationship from the narrative had started when she was 12. Anyone irrespective of the status that is engaged in this kind of inappropriate act is in every sense of the word a criminal. Rape as an act is crossing the red line whether in our clime or other places in the world.
Some news tracked by a national tabloid over the weekend said some top politicians and associates of the embattled Edet Okon Asim were seen around the State Police Command with the intent of ending his detention and scuttling the case from going to court.
The information filtering in from Diamond Hill axis on the case is however heart-warming as Christian Ita, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor said “of course, you know that this has nothing to do with the governor. The governor believes in justice and will not interfere in any way because the truth has to come out. And continuing he said, “we do not know who is saying the truth but there are agencies to find out the truth. The governor will not in any way influence anything because he is focused on delivering his promises to the people of the state”. The Chief Press Secretary to the wife of the governor, Fred Abua, collaborated as well in like manna.
In the first place, people like Asim who abuse their status, power and influence should not be trusted with public offices. The Lens is of the candid opinion that the accused should be suspended from office in the interim pending the determination of his case in court. And if he is cleared, should be restored accordingly.
We feel the full weight of the law should be applied even in his detention. To this end; if the case is a bail able offence, it shouldn’t be denied him. But the case should be tried in court to ensure that justice is done as it would be setting a dangerous precedence if untidily handled.
More often than not, crime is collaboration especially in a lingering scenario such as this. It was reported that the girl has had three abortions, the third allegedly with the knowledge of her mother who has also been arrested. This is indeed disgusting and traumatic of a mother who is supposed to offer responsible parenting to the child.
The part of the victim’s mother in the crime is even the more germane and worrisome aspect which seemingly stakeholders in the case are not leveraging enough on.
The collaboration of these two individuals shows that the victim was under siege for 3 years. Her mother who from all indication has been receiving royalty from the accused should face the same consequence in like manner with the accused.
The partnership of her mother with the accused in perpetrating and sustaining this criminality for 3 good years instead of offering responsible parenting is why the crime has festered up till now. The Lens is of the opinion that she should be charged to court as well because she is a first line accomplice.
There is also the secondary problem which James Ibor, the victims lawyer passively mentioned. “We are believing that a miracle will happen for her to have her womb back”. This is another added layer beyond the rape to the case that should be of utmost concern to all stakeholders in the case. It thus raises the question of whether it is possible for the victim to live life after this trauma as a normal woman with a complete family. Aside the physical pain and torture, what about the post trauma syndrome she would have to live with all through her life.
We in The Lens as with stakeholders in the matter are trying to figure out what the eventual outcome of the case would be. We hope the needful will be done to protect lives of the vulnerable in the society.
Published in maiden edition, Lens Newspapers Vol. 1 No. 16.