A man, Goddey Jatto, has been arraigned before a magistrate in Benin City, Edo State, for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl.
Mr Jatto, 34, is a community leader in Oregbeni Quarters, Benin City, according to a statement from the Government House, Benin City.
The defendant forced the little girl into a bush and raped her in January this year, the court was told.
The victim narrated inside the courtroom what happened.
“While I was waiting for my mother at the shop, I decided to go to a neighbour to help me call my mother on phone.
“Before I could get to the neighbour’s house, I changed my mind and turned back because I did not want to upset my mother. As I was returning to the shop, Jatto called me to help him take a book to his wife and I refused because I did not want my mother to get to the shop and not meet me there.
“He insisted and as I walked close to him, he held my hand, closed my mouth with his other hand and dragged me to the back of his house by the fish-pond.
“He removed my pant, brought out his ‘baby’ (penis) and forced it inside my baby (private part).
“It was so painful. When he finished, he gave me N200 and turned my back, tried to do the same thing. I picked my pant from the floor and ran,” she said.
The victim said she reported the incident to her mother immediately.
“My mother cried, fell down, and couldn’t move. She informed the Police, and they took us to the police station the next day,” she told the court.
The victim’s mother told the court that after the defendant was initially released at the police station, the police officer investigating the case began putting pressure on her to agree on a peaceful settlement of the matter with the defendant, but she refused.
She was later contacted by officials of the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development who assured that justice would prevail on the matter.
The state government was keen on protecting children, the ministry’s official had told the victim’s mother.
The defendant’s bail application was opposed by the prosecution who argued that his release could distract and scuttle the case.
The case has been adjourned to May 2 for hearing.