Hundreds of protesters, mainly women, on Wednesday took to the streets of the Eliozu axis of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, demanding the capture and prosecution of Ifeanyi Dike, a 23 yr old student arrested and placed under police custody, for the killing an 8yr-old relation of his for money ritual purposes.
The little girl, Chikamso Victory Ezewuba, was said to have been raped, killed, and her vital organs removed. The suspect, who has now escaped from police custody, confirmed this publicly when he was paraded before the press last Saturday.
The protesters, who marched to the Eliozu bridge, chanted protest songs and vowed to continue with the protest until justice was seen to have taken place or at least until the suspect was rearrested.
“We will not go back on our resolve to ensure that justice is done in this matter. How could a man kill a girl in such a terrible manner for ritual purpose and the moment the culprit was apprehended and taking to the police, he disappeared.
“We want the police to do the needful by ensuring that Dike is rearrested. If such terrible thing can happen in the police, then we are not safe in this country,” according to one of the protesters.
One of the leading protesters, who gave simply as Madam Grace, said that they were also demanding the prosecution of the IPO in charge of the matter, one John bosco of the CID section of the Rivers State Police Command.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Deputy Governor Dr. (Mrs.) Ipalibo Harry Banigo has described the escape of the suspected ritualist from police custody as embarrassing.
In a statement from her office in the Government House Port Harcourt the Deputy Governor said the Police and other law enforcement Agencies should step up their game and ensure that the felon was re arrested and brought to justice without delay, stressing that the report that the suspect escaped from the hands of the Investigating Police Officer was totally un acceptable.
Dr. Banigo who condoled the bereaved family on the gruesome murder of little Miss Victory Chikamnso said “as a mother I am still numb with shock to hear that a full grown man could defile an eight year old girl and also go ahead to mutilate her body for purported money rituals”.
Dr. Banigo advised parents and guardians to take extra precautions to ensure that their children especially female children are protected from predators like Ifeanyi Dike who she described as a devil incarnate.