The Punch

Rape allegation against gov wife’s security detail under probe –Ekiti

- Abiodun Nejo, Ado Ekiti

THE Ekiti State Government, on Tuesday, pledged to cooperate with the Federal Capital Territory Police Command in the investigat­ion of a security official attached to the wife of the governor, who was accused of raping a lady.

The Attorney-general and Commission­er for Justice, Mr Olawale Fapohunda, said this in a statement.

The statement read in part, “The attention of the Ekiti State Ministry of Justice has been drawn to a complaint of rape against a security official deployed in the state Government House and attached to the convoy of the wife of the governor. The incident is alleged to have taken place on Monday, July 5, 2021, in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

“The case is now being handled by the Criminal Investigat­ion Department, FCT Command of the Nigeria Police Force. The state government will cooperate fully with the police investigat­ion team to ensure that the matter is investigat­ed thoroughly.

“The victim is receiving extensive psycho-social and legal support to cope with the trauma and seek justice, and her identity is being protected.”

The commission­er lamented the high incidence of sexual abuse in the state, saying the 121 rape cases being prosecuted across the state at present were worrisome.

He said the number was “particular­ly disturbing considerin­g that this statistic only relates to victims or their relatives, who are willing to support the ministry in the prosecutio­n of these cases.”

Fapohunda, in the statement titled: ‘Additional measures to curb sexual violence in Ekiti State’, said the figure would be more alarming if unwilling victims were added to it.

To redress this, the attorneyge­neral said additional measures taken by the government to curb sexual violence included a bill criminalis­ing attempt to hinder prosecutio­n of rape cases and legal protection of genderbase­d violence whistleblo­wers as encouragem­ent for citizens to speak up and speak out on sexual violence in the state.

He said the ‘Hindering Prosecutio­n Bill’ before the state House of Assembly made it a criminal offence “for any person to seek to hinder or unlawfully influence the office of the attorney-general to discontinu­e certain criminal matters, including rape, sexual assault and child defilement and prescribed five years’ imprisonme­nt on conviction.”

Fapohunda, who spoke on plan to confiscate private accommodat­ion, hotel accommodat­ion and related places used for the rape of minor, said, “The Ministry of Justice is currently working on a legislativ­e proposal that will allow the government to revoke the Certificat­es of Occupancy of such properties with a view to converting them to rehabilita­tion centres for ex-convicts.

The commission­er added that the ministry would continue to aggressive­ly pursue Governor Kayode Fayemi administra­tion’s zero tolerance for all forms of sexual violence.

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