Senate wants policeman killed for defiling two-year-old girl


Emotion was high yesterday as senators debated the rape of a two-year-old girl, Chinwendu Onwudiwe, by a police corporal, Anthony Onoja, in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, recently.
The senators did not stop at condemning the corporal’s action but knocked the police for lack of seriousness in prosecuting similar offences, which had led to the increase in rape cases throughout the country.
The case of baby Onwudiwe drew so much emotions that many of the senators urged that Onoja should be made to face capital punishment.
The news of the rape was first aired on television on October 23.
The incident actually took place two weeks earlier.
According to the report, the incident took place in Mararaba, a neighbouring town with the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
The matter was said to have been reported to the police, but as at yesterday, there was no evidence that the police had taken any action.
In an emotion-laden remark, the Senate President, David Mark, led the pack of senators who were of the view that Onoja should face the ultimate punishment for his heinous acts.
He said: “I think we should begin to punish people who commit crimes no matter how small or big, irrespective of who they are. I believe that this particular case must attract maximum punishment whatever way we look at it.
“Is it a mental case, yes or no? I say no because if the matter is taken to court and then, they say ‘no, it is a mental case,’ that becomes an excuse for him to go scot-free. So, we must also be mindful of insisting that it is a mental case. I think that whether it is a mental case or not, it must get a maximum punishment.”
This was also as the Senate passed a resolution condemning the act in its entirety and mandating its Committee on Police Affairs to investigate the matter and report back to the Senate.
Mark’s remarks followed the motion sponsored by Senator Helen Esuene (Akwa Ibom Northa) entitled: “Cruelty to infants.”
In her lead presentation, Esuene noted that sections 31 and 32 of the Child Rights Act make this case a criminal offence, which attracts life imprisonment or 14 years imprisonment depending on the nature of the abuse.
According to her, this is not the first time it has been reported in the Senate of the police officer sexually abusing an infant girl.
She stressed the need to arrest this kind of impunity and weed out bad eggs and protect the image of the police, noting that “because of the innocence of our minors, they are very vulnerable to different forms of abuse by unscrupulous persons”.
Senator Magnus Abe (Rivers South-East) while describing the act as very troubling, blamed its persistence and wide spread occurrence throughout the country on the weakness of the law enforcement, noting that, “we need to tackle the enforcement of structures”.
While describing the corporal as a good example of paedophiles, the lawmaker disclosed that such people are abound everywhere and that in other climes such people are ostracised and not allowed to come near children.
He urged that the same treatment be meted out on Onoja.
Senator Ahmed Lawan regretted that “this is happening in Nigeria where we have the highest number of Christians and Muslims”.



National Mirror
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