A suspected rapist, simply identified as Kelechi, has escaped from police detention at Ajiwe Police Station, Lagos State.
The suspect was alleged to have disappeared from police detention a few hours after he was arrested for attempting to sexually violate an 11-year-old girl.
The Executive Director of Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre, Okechukwu Nwanguma, who had taken up the case, seeking justice for the minor, said several attempts to find out from the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ajiwe Police Station how Kelechi escaped, had been abortive.
Nwanguma explained that the DPO didn’t pick his calls and didn’t respond to text messages.
Nwanguma added: “The suspect, Kelechi attempted to rape a minor on Friday. The matter was reported same day by the victim’s mother, Amaka, at Ajiwe Police Station and the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Niyilola Olayinka was assigned the case. The accused, who was arrested that same day, was said to have escaped from police custody.”
Nwanguma later got in touch with Area J Police Command, Ajah, which confirmed that three policewomen have been arrested in connection with the disappearance of the suspect from police detention.
The victim’s mom, Amaka, recounted how her daughter was almost violated: “There are three flats in our compound.
“Our landlord, Mr. Kelechi and I.
“My other children are in boarding school.
“My daughter returned at about 3pm.
“She went out to collect the laundry outside and saw Kelechi returning from work.
“Later, she noticed that Kelechi had switched on his generator and went there to charge phone.
“As neighbours in the compound, we used to go to one another’s flats to charge phones.
“He asked her if her mother was around, she said no.”
Amaka said that when Kelechi realised that he was all alone with the little girl in the compound, he drew closer, held her hands and dragged her into his bedroom.
“She asked him: “Uncle Kelechi, what are you doing?
“He responded that she would be all right.
“That she shouldn’t worry.
“She told me that he removed her shorts and then removed his, raised her top and started touching her breasts, she started struggling and kicked him.
“She screamed and the dog in the compound started barking furiously.
“Kelechi probably thought that someone had returned and allowed her to escape.
“But before he allowed her, he warned her not to tell her mom, threatening to kill her and her mom if she revealed what transpired.”
Amaka said that some minutes later, after Kelechi realised that nobody had returned and that the dog had only been barked, he went to their window, coaxing the girl to come out.
The girl ran into her mom’s room and quickly called her mom.
She added: “When my daughter called me, she was shaking and frightened.
“I could hear the fear in her voice.
“She told me that uncle Kelechi wanted to rape her.
“I quickly called our landlady, who returned and went straight to our flat and found Kelechi loitering around our flat.
“She took my daughter to her place.”
When Amaka returned, she went to Ajiwe Police Station to lodge a complaint and Kelechi was arrested.
She added: “Right in my presence, at the police station, Kelechi confessed to the crime.
“You can imagine my shock when I received information the following day that he has escaped from police detention.
“ It’s not funny.
“Kelechi must have been doing this same thing to other children.
“He has to be stopped.
“How can he go missing?”
Our reporter gathered that the matter had been transferred to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department, Panti, Yaba for further investigation.
It was also gathered that the police at SCIID, for reasons yet unknown, have arrested and detained Kelechi’s wife.
Nwanguma, who was angry over the proxy arrest, said: “I don’t know what may have transpired.
“Why is the fugitive suspect’s wife held?
“I’m told that the alleged rapist is still in hiding, calling the victim’s parents and begging them for ‘settlement’.
“Again, I don’t know why the suspect’s wife is being held.
“Is she held in lieu of her husband or is there evidence that she’s complicit in the alleged crime?
“I have asked the victim’s parents to give me the contacts of the Police officers currently investigating the case at SCIID so that I can ascertain from them the reason for holding the suspect’s wife and to also find out what efforts they are making to apprehend the culprit, what they want to do with the officers on duty when he ‘escaped’ and how they intend to proceed with the case generally.”