Mrs. Ijeoma Akpan, mother of a 10-year old girl, Mercy Akpan, who was allegedly raped by a 48-year old councillorship aspirant, Uyo-Obong Udo (aka, Jaguar) has accused the police and the political class of trying to shield the culprit.
Mrs. Akpan called on government, human rights activists and other relevant organisations to come to her aid and ensure that the culprit is produce in court.
Ijeoma, who hawks fufu in Uyo said on Sunday that since her daughter was raped on May 1, 2017, the police have not been able to effect the arrest of the culprit.
She said that on the fateful day she gave her daughter some fufu to sell and when it was almost two hours and she did not return she started suspecting that the girl has lost her way because she was new in the area.
Her words “I traced her to a junction and seconds after, I saw her coming back crying. I was angry and asked her what had happened? She did not answer me. Then I asked her to take me to where she was coming from.
“She took me to the place and as soon as the man saw me, he wished the ground could just open for him to enter. He gave my daughter N500, which I have as evidence against him. He started pleading with me, saying, “Mother, it is not what you think.’
“I didn’t say anything; I asked him not to worry but would tell my husband when he is back. I told him that he did what he did to me because he saw that I am pregnant,” she said.
She said when she couldn’t endure the incident any longer; she ran to her husband uncle, Mr. Bassey Udotong and told him what had happened to her daughter.
Ijeoma added that Udotong sent for Udo, who together with other people honoured the invitation and pleaded with Udotong to forgive Udo.
“He (Udo) promised to take my daughter to a hospital for laboratory test. When he learnt that my husband has come back, he fled home and asked other people to come to my husband and plead on his behalf.
“One of the men asked me to come into his vehicle so that he could give me some money to take my daughter to a hospital, but I declined. At this time I had reported the matter to the police.”
The victim, Mercy, a Junior Secondary II student of New Life Secondary School, Ukana Ikot Ntuen, said she went to buy waterproof and the milk that they would eat before going to school.
She explained that on her way coming back, she saw a man who asked if she wanted to use the waterproof to prepare fufu. She noted that having answered the man in the affirmative, he gave her N200 to get fufu for him.
“When I took the fufu to the junction to give the man, I couldn’t find him. I went to my classmate house to ask of the man. She directed me to his house. While walking to his house, I passed the first and second house.
“And when I was like confused about the man’s house, I saw one little girl whom I asked about the man’s house. The girl showed me his house. I knocked at the door and nobody responded. I went back to the girl and told her that I did not see anybody, the girl asked me to wait that the man would come.
“When the man came back, I gave him the fufu, he jacked me up and used his hand to cover my mouth. He first of all touched my breasts before raping me,” Mercy said sobbing.
Asked if she could recognise the man if she saw him, Mercy replied that, “I saw the man once in our school. He came there to record our inter-sport event. In our area, people call him Jaguar.”
Mercy said that she has been in pains since May 1 that she had been raped.
Udo, has however, described the incident as false and a calculated attempt to tarnish his political images.
He said, “That thing is fake. It’s a political propaganda; people encouraged them to despise me.”The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Chukwu Ikechukwu, said the police is not aware of the incident.
But the Investigation Police Officer in the area, Mr. Idong Idiong, confirmed that the matter had been reported to Essien Udim Police Division.
He said, “I don’t even know because he has not yet been arrested for investigation to be carried out and know how far. So, I don’t even know as of now. I’ve welcome the complaint from the complainant since the suspect has not yet been arrested, I cannot make any comment about it.
Asked if the parents have been able to establish the rape case, he answered in the affirmative, saying that he gave them the medical report.
Our correspondent asked, “’Have the girl’s parents been able to establish the rape case, and with a medical report? He replied, ‘Yes, I gave them the medical report myself.’”
Our correspondent gathered Udo, who is a pastor of Holy Ghost Apostolic Church, has been on running since tension has become high on the community about the case.