A 13-year-old-girl in Akwa Ibom on Saturday narrated how her father, Godwin Jeremiah, sexually assaulted her repeatedly in their home.
The victim spoke to journalists after the arrest of Mr Jeremiah, a bricklayer from Ikot Udota, by police officers from the Divisional Headquarters in Eket Local Government Area.
Amidst tears, she accused her father of forcefully having sex with her mainly in the night, and almost on a daily basis.
She said that her father’s friend, one Mr Michael, from Ikot Udoma village, also attempted to rape her, but he ran away when she raised alarm.
“My father forcefully abused me sexually. This occurs almost on daily basis in spite of my resistance and the pains and injury I sustained from the ungodly act.
“Initially, I reported the case to my stepmother who confronted my father, but she was beaten and this made her flee from my father’s house.
“When the whole thing became unbearable for me, I ran and reported to the police, which led to his first arrest, but my aunt, who did not believe my story, intervened and he was released on bail.”
The girl said after her father’s release, she did not have any option than to return to the house and stay with him.
“The matter grew from bad to worse. It was the darkest moment in my life. This time my father did not allow me to sleep, he forcefully abused me throughout the night.
“It was coming on daily basis. Since nobody was there to help, I decided to run away from my father’s house.
“But fate led to my meeting a compassionate mother, Mrs Bright Archibong, and the President of FIDA who rose up to fight on my behalf,” she said.
‘Detained for investigations’
Sunday Digha, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), said the suspect started harassing his daughter sexually since last year and was arrested after she reported the case to the Divisional Police Headquarters, Eket.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the DPO was accompanied by the wife of the Eket Local Government Chairman, Bright Archibong, and President, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), in Akwa Ibom, Emem Ette, to arrest the alleged suspect.
“The suspect is currently being detained at the Divisional Police Headquarters in Eket, for further investigations,” Mr Digha said.
He said that Mr Jeremiah’s friend, who also allegedly attempted to rape the victim, was at large and the police were looking for him.
In his response, Mr Jeremiah said that his daughter, who used to sleep on the same bed with him, just decided to run away from the house without any reason.
Also speaking, Mrs Archibong condemned the act, saying that the suspect’s arrest would serve as a deterrent to others.
“It is the worst thing a person can do to a child, especially a father to his daughter. What could have caused a father to rape his daughter?”
She said the girl was safe and now staying at a recognised government home, and had been taken to a doctor, who had checked to confirm her health status.
Mrs Ette, on her part, warned that every rapist would not go unpunished as they would be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.
She said that after police had concluded its investigations, the law would takes it full course.
“We have also had lots of cases of women defiling their sons, this is the worst that can ever happen to a child, and we want to advise parents to desist from such acts,” Mrs Ette said.