Controversy trails 11-year-old schoolgirl’s rape
Guardian arrested over molestation
The case of Eze Precious Odinaka, an 11-year-old pupil of Maxcity Nursery and Primary School, Ago Palace Way, Okota, Lagos who was allegedly raped by a tricycle rider in Ago, in July 2021, has taken another dimension, as her guardian, Eze Augustine Ikechuku, has been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command over allegation of having carnal knowledge of the little girl.
In December 2021, Ikechukwu reached out to The Guardian after the police had told him that his adopted daughter mentioned his name as having had sexual intercourse with her.
In his narration in December 23, 2021, Ikechukwu told The Guardian that the little girl came back from school on that fateful day with blood stain in her pants. He and his wife, who is the little girl’s aunt were shocked that a girl of her age was already seeing her period, but it took another dimension as the girl became withdrawn from everyone at home. Before then, she was always buying unusual things such that she often use her bus fare to school to buy edibles.
“So, when I saw extra things she was eating, I had to interrogate her, followed her up and found out that she did not steal my money.
“She didn’t want to disclose the identity of the person who took her to school for free. So, I had to flog her, and in the process, she shouted ‘daddy I will confess’. So, she said it’s one keke guy, who is her friend, that slept with her.
“She revealed the identity of the man to my wife. She was shocked to learn that an old person like Stephen could do such thing.
“She opened up to us that Stephen took her out on that Friday we saw the bloody pant.
“So, I went to the park and I saw Stephen there, I restrained myself from carrying out jungle justice, but I kept members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) on standby to prevent him from escaping. Then I went to Ago Police station and they asked a policeman to follow me to the park and the man was arrested. It was actually two persons that molested her but only one person had his ways with her.
“The case started smoothly, then after the third day, the then Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ago, Ladi Tarpaya appeared to have a personal interest in the rapist. The DPO said my daughter told her that it was no longer the man that raped her, that she used a lie detector on my daughter to find out the truth.
“The DPO’s tactics was to grant bail to the guy because I heard her negotiating a N300, 000 bail. They transferred the case from Ago to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, which was the right place to handle the case. We went back to my daughter to ask to reconfirm the identity of the culprit and she still pointed at him.
Ikechukwu said that they refused to release the girl because she was not his biological child.
Responding to The Guardian, Tarpaya said: “We moved the case to the higher authourity. Cases of defilement are not handled at divisional headquarters. What we did was to transfer it to where justice can be achieved.
“If I have kept the file in Ago, then someone can say I wanted to subvert the course of justice, but if I have moved it, it means I want a higher authourity to look into the case of the victim.
She clarified that the suspect was released during the early stage of COVID-19 period, because they were not allowed to detain anyone at that time and not a case of manipulation. “As I speak to you, I am no longer a police officer, but the record will remain intact. I can always attend to you any time you call because irrespective of where I am, a police officer remains a police officer, accountable for his or her own action. I am accountable for my action; I am here to respond to you any time you call.
The Guardian had contacted SCID; Panti to get update on the case but no words was coming forth after several efforts. When The Guardian approached the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Adekunle Ajisebutu, he asked for a week to look into the matter. He, however, asked for another week when the period elapsed.
Ajisebutu who had earlier told The Guardian that according to intelligence report he had at his disposal, Ikechukwu’s innocence was in doubt, asked for more time. Ajisebu also told The Guardian that the alleged rapist, Stephen might be innocent.
On Monday, January 31, 2022, Ikechukwu called The Guardian that he was going to Panti to answer a summon. Exactly 3:30.p.m. on Monday, Ajisebutu informed The Guardian of Ikechukwu’s arrest on allegation of having carnal knowledge of the little girl, insisting that he only accused Stephen to cover it up.