4 June 2020
A 73 year old retired army Cpt, Bassey Ekanem has raped his 4 year old niece in Calabar, the Cross River state capital.
The incident occurred at 12 Edim Ibangaha Street,Big Qua Town, Calabar.
It was also learnt that the suspect claimed he was under the influence of alcohol and couldn't understand why he committed the act.
Findings showed that the victim (names withheld) was violated by the Uncle whom she referred to as grandpa.
A source who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent that the retired army Captain have been in the north for years before he came to Calabar after retiring from the army.
"He (suspect) had sent the lady living with him to make soup, while she went to buy fish at Marian market, Bassey lured the little girl into his apartment and started fingering her and broke her hymen in the process.
"It was the victims younger brother who is about 2 years who told thier mother that grandpa put her hand inside her sister's "bum bum" before their mother raised alarm and the matter was reported to Akim police station.
When contacted, the Principal Counsel, Basic Right Council Initiative, James Ibor Esq, said the case was one amongst many adding that rape incidents were becoming increasingly alarming.
"I am heartbroken and appalled by the increasing number of rape everyday in Calabar and beyond, the Child Rights Act really needs to be implemented to the latter because the girl child is going through a lot.
"This particular matter cannot be swept under the carpet and the suspect must face the full wrath of the law eventhough they are related, because in most cases, when the case is gaining momentum, a lot of pressure starts coming in for the matter to become compromised especially when it has to do with a relative.
"He is now in police custody and we expect our officers to do a thorough job becuase this is one too many in the rape saga ravaging the country, it didn't start today but it's high time people started speaking up, rape is a serious crime.
"The suspect has confessed to the act and it is only the court that can determine whether he had capacity to carry out the act as there are claims he was under the influence of alcohol at the time he committed the abominable act," Ibor said.
Ibor who is also the Chairperson, Child Protection Network in Cross River called on parents to enlighten thier children at a very early age as signs and other emotional signals can be detected early like the younger brother to the victim who is just about 2 years did.
"There is need to teach both the boy and girl child at a tender age because it's because of what the little brother understood that exposed the matter in the first place, so educate your children always," he said.