Rights group wants 38-year-old man prosecuted for raping minor in Bauchi

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Rights group wants 38-year-old man prosecuted for raping minor in Bauchi
From Beatrice GONDYI, Bauchi

A human rights group known as Prison Inmate Development Initiative (PIDI-Nigeria), wants a 38-year-old man who has been accused of raping a five-year-old minor in Bauchi State to face the full wrath of the law.

PIDI made this known in a press statement in Bauchi on Tuesday, describing the situation as saddening, as issues of rape keep on increasing day after day in Nigeria.

The statement signed by the Executive Director of the group, Cate Iya Rize, said, “though there is no region in the country that is not facing this challenge, these days it seems to be more rampant in the northern region of the country”.

The group recalled that it was recently threatened with a court case for providing legal backing for Aisha Abdullahi who was raped, impregnated and also charged to court by her predator for defamation of character.

“It is now a saddening case of Mariya Suleiman (Ummi) who was drugged and raped by a security personnel leader named Saleh Hassan (Shoe Shiner) in Paparanda Anguwa Hardo”, the statement said.

According to PIDI, “Saleh Hassan is 38 years old, single and he is also the chairman of Peace and Security Committee (YAN Committee) in Paparanda Anguwa Hardo in Bauchi State”.

The right group said the suspect is known to be an electronics repairer who also lives in the same street with the parent of the victim, Mariya Suleiman.

“The case was reported to the Paralegal Unit of PIDI-Nigeria on Saturday and the Monitoring and Investigation Unit of the organisation went for the investigation.

“On getting there, we met with the mother of Mariya, Mrs Sureya Abubakar and her father Malam Suleiman Idris”, the press statement explained.

It further said that the victim, Mariya was lying helplessly and couldn’t say a word.

“It was on this note that the Monitoring and Investigation Unit of PIDI-Nigeria decided to interrogate Mrs Sureya who is the mother of the victim”, the group said.

Findings by PIDI revealed that Mrs Sureya had on the 16th day of July 2020, sent the victim (Mariya) to go and buy spaghetti at about 7:00 am but didn’t return on time.

“While she was coming, I noticed that she was leaping, I asked her where she has been and what was wrong with her but she said nothing. The next day morning, she was crying and couldn’t walk again”, the victim’s mother told PIDI.

She said that the development prompted her to check all through her body where she noticed that there were several bruises in her private part.

The victim’s mother revealed to the rights group that when inquired about the perpetrator, she said the person warned her not to disclose his identity to anyone or she would be killed with a knife he was brandishing on her.

However, on persistent inquiry, the victim alleged that she was raped by one, uncle Saleh, saying that “when she got the spaghetti, on her way coming home, he called her and asked her to take one medicine”.

According to PIDI, “she said it was after she took the medicine that she slept off, so when she woke up, she said he showed her a knife and said if she tells anybody, she will be killed”.

The rights group said when the mother took her to a specialist hospital in Bauchi, they were advised to get a police report which she did and the suspect was also arrested by the police.

“In the station, the police asked Mariya (the victim) who raped her, on seeing him, she pointed at him that he is the one. And when she was asked to mention his name, she said, uncle Saleh”, the statement said.

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