A Magistrate Court sitting in Enugu State has remanded a 70-year-old, Anthony Mgbe in prison for r@ping and murdering a 15-year-old girl.
The victim identified as Uchechukwu Onwuzuru, said to be deaf and dumb, bled to death after she was allegedly brutally raped by the suspect.
Mgbe, from Umuagu, Inyi Oji-River Local Government Area of the state, was docked on a two-count charge brought against him by the police.
A statement issued on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, by the Women Aid Collective, WACOL, said the two count charge brought against Mr. Mgbe by prosecutors are as follows:
1. Unlawful carnal knowledge of a minor, an offense contrary to Section 308 and punishable under Section 309 of criminal Code, Cap. 30, Vol. II, Revised laws of Enugu State of Nigeria 2004.
2. Unlawful killing by having unlawful carnal knowledge of the minor which caused her to bleed to death” an offense punishable under Section 274(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 30, Vol. II, Revised Law of Enugu State of Nigeria 2004.
Considering the severity of the offence, the magistrate court denied the application for bail and adjourned the case till 22 November 2023, the organization stated.
“The case was first reported to WACOL by concerned members of the community, who told WACOL that the man was in the habit of perpetrating violence against women and girls, but always managed to evade justice owing to the influence of his children, who silenced the victims and their families,” the statement read.
“In the light of this, the family of the deceased sought protection from WACOL in addition to legal intervention to ensure that the perpetrator faced the full wrath of the law. Following a detailed petition sent by WACOL legal team to the commissioner of police, Mr Mgbe was arrested and subsequently charged to court.
“It is imperative for WACOL to state that the rising reports of femicide across Nigeria in the last few months is distasteful and unacceptable. These widespread violence against women and girls directly impedes on their human rights, particularly their right to life. It is no doubt that women and girls are no longer safe anywhere whether it be home, church, schools, roads and markets.
“The rampancy of these killings reflects the effect of low implementation of relevant laws which stem from poor political will, prevalence of harmful cultural practices, victim blaming, gender stereotypes and biases.
“That is why WACOL is following up with this case to send a clear message of zero tolerance against all forms of violence against women and girls. We are holding such perpetrators accountable.
“We thank the Enugu state, Commissioner of Police for immediate response and proactive investigation that led to the arrest of Mr. Mgbe. WACOL will not relent in providing protection for the deceased family and closely monitoring the case to ensure that justice is manifestly seen to be done.”