By Sampson Boroh
A 13-year-old girl reportedly raped by a 30-year-old teacher, Promise Sylvanus Ogun, at Ogoibiri community in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, has died from infections suffered from the incident.
It was gathered that the suspect, a government teacher attached to Government Secondary School, Toroegbeni, had reportedly earlier owned up to the crime.
He was alleged to have forced his way into the girl twice at the community waterside where the teenager had gone to bathe.
The incident which is now raising dust in the state had attracted the attention of civil rights groups in the state who are demanding justice for the family of the deceased.
Sources in the community who confirmed the incident said the suspected rapist agreed before the family of the deceased and traditional chiefs in the area that he had unlawful intercourse with the deceased.
It was furthered learnt that Mr. Ogun, however, sought for settlement by agreeing to pay her hospital bill at a private hospital in Opolo area of the state capital, where the girl was admitted for treatment.
The father of the deceased, Pinaowei Gana, who confirmed the incident, said after her daughter’s death the suspected rapist made a u-turn and took his family to police station where he was being intimidated.
Narrating his daughter’s ordeal to journalists in Yenagoa, Gana said, ”She kept it (rape) to herself and was bleeding little by little. Until two months later, we noticed some strange smell and she complained of serious sickness. We took her to a local Massage therapist and he told us that the child has been defiled and infected.
“We took her back to tell my landlord and some elders to tell us who defiled her, and she confirmed it was the teacher.
“He (Ogun) agreed it was him and pleaded I should not go to the Police but that he will pay for her treatment and settle with the family. He took her to a private hospital in Opolo where he was admitted for over a week.
“But he came back and discharge the child without Doctor’s advice and dumped her with me. Two days later, the girl died.”
The deceased father also confirmed that after he raised alarm over the death of her child, “the accused and his entire family packed and ran out of the area. The father to the accused however offered and deposited the corpse of the girl at the mortuary along the Amassoma road pending the resolution of the conflict.”
The bereaved father said the suspect reported him to Police Area Command in Sagbama that he (deceased’s father) was threatening his life.
But angered by the development, Civil Society Organization and Girl Child Advocacy groups in the state including the Girl Response Initiative Team set up by the wife of the State Governor, Mrs. Gloria Diri and the DOF Foundation led by Barr. Dise Ogbise-Erhisere are demanding for the arrest of the suspect.
They are calling on the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Mike Okoli, to launch a thorough investigation into the incident to ensure that the culprit is brought to book for his crime.
The groups accused the Sagbama Area Command for allegedly summoning the deceased father over the trump up charges of alleged threat to life by the accused teacher.
Speaking on the issue, the Founder of the DOF Foundation, Ogbise-Erhisere, confirmed that the deceased died from complications of rape.
The activist insisted that the girl child advocacy groups are planning a visit on the Commissioner of Police over the matter and to seek for justice.
“A crime has been committed and the culprit has admitted to the crime. They need to ensure he is arrested and prosecuted.
“On the reported petition of the alleged pedophile, the police need to investigate and determine who is culpable and where is the corpse of the defiled and deceased child”, Ogbise-Erhisere.
She called on the Police authorities to transfer the case from Sagbama Area Command to the State Police headquarters in Yenagoa.