Group Calls for DPO Prosecution Over Rape Of Female SuspectLatest News, News Friday, April 18th, 2014
The Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) has petitioned the Chairman of the Police Service Commission over allegations of rape made against the DPO Adekunle Awe of the Onikan Police Station by a detainee, Miss Idowu Akinwunmi.
This petition signed National Coordinator of NOPRIN, Okechukwu Nwanguma stated that, Miss Adewunmi, 31, made the complaint to NOPRIN on Wednesday, alleging that she was raped by Mr. Awe in his office on Tuesday.
Ms. Akinwunmi, who works at ‘Abua Mamaput & Bar,’ a makeshift restaurant in Ikoyi told NOPRIN officials she was arrested by police officers attached to Onikan Police Station earlier on Tuesday at about 1a.m. at her work place over a complaint lodged against her by her employer, Mrs. Pelumi Idowu.
The petition reads in part, “She was detained in the Cell, and at about 10p.m., one Inspector Ajiduwe brought her to the office of the DPO where the DPO raped her.
She said that the DPO forcefully had canal knowledge of her without protection in his office,” NOPRIN said, adding that the DPO threatened to send Ms. Akinwunmi to prison if she mentioned the rape to anyone.
“It is shocking that a high ranking police officer of the position of a DPO could descend to such low level of raping a female suspect in his custody.”
Okechukwu Nwanguma however called for prompt, impartial and exhaustive investigation of the allegations to ascertain the truth and bring the DPO to account if found guilty.
The National Coordinator of the network alleged that Mr Awe was also involved in at least four other cases of rape which were covered up for him by his ‘godfathers’ in the police while serving at Zone 2 headquarters and elsewhere.
“Many victims of rape are often too ashamed and unwilling to report or seek redress. They live and die in silence from the trauma of sexual abuse and violence. Thus, perpetrators hide under the silence and enjoy impunity. This is why it is important that the scourge of rape by uniformed men is combated by ensuring full accountability so as to protect women and to reassure victims that they can get redress.”He lamented
The network urged the commission to use the case involving DPO Awe to demonstrate its commitment to ensuring police discipline, accountability and respect for human rights, noting that bringing perpetrators to account will help curb the excesses of rapists in police uniform and end impunity for abuse.
NOPRIN is a network of 46 civil society organizations set up in 2000 to provide civil society input in the promotion of police accountability and respect for human rights.
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