The Akwa Ibom State Police Command has arrested a Pastor and 11 others for various cases of rape and defilement in the state.
The Commissioner of Police, CP Imohimi Edgal, made this known in a press conference in Uyo on Wednesday.
Edgal said that the 33 year old pastor severally raped a 15 year old girl at his deliverance centre.
The pastor who allegedly lives with eight other girls aged 13 to 16 years was said to have also attempted to rape a 21 year old girl.
The Police Chair said that another suspect from Ekpene Obo, Esit Eket LGA was said to have repeatedly raped his 16 year old daughter, forcing her to abscond from the house.
He was said to have persuaded his daughter to return home with a promise not to sexually assault her again but continued raping the victim after she had returned home.
“This press briefing aims at showcasing an appreciable milestone in the fight against rape, defilement and other gender based violence.
“The Police Command has arrested another Pastor and 11 others for rape and defilement.
“Following a complaint on June 18, 2020, Operatives of SCIID, Uyo arrested one Pastor aged 33yrs old of Nung Atim Road, Off Idoro Road, Uyo for attempting to rape a 21-yr-old girl.
“Investigation further revealed that the said Pastor, who lives with eight other girls between the ages of 13years and 16years in his so-called deliverance centre at the said address, severally had unlawful carnal knowledge of one of the minors who is 15-year old.
“On June 22, 2020, Operatives of Oron Division apprehended a 30-year old of Uko Nteghe, Mbo L.G.A. The suspect invaded a residence at No. 4 Secretariat Road, Oron at about 1:30am of the said date, where he had an unlawful carnal knowledge of a 28 year old lady at gunpoint.
“Following a tip-off, Operatives of ‘C’ Division apprehended a 29 year old of No. 35 Abak Road, Uyo, who repeatedly defiled his 14year old daughter,” Edgal said.
The commissioner of police urged parents and guardians to be more cautious, who they entrust their children to, adding that some of the minors were sexually violated by their spiritual fathers or persons in authority in the course of hawking.
He warned that any parent or guardian whose child or ward within the stipulated age in the Child’s Rights Act found hawking, would be arrested and prosecuted in line with the 10 years imprisonment punishment prescribed by the law.
Edgal urged the people and parents not to be dissuaded by stigmatization or threats from reporting Gender Based Violence and other sexual related offences to the Police.
He promised that the Command would ensure justice and the needed protection, medical attention, psychological counseling, and other supports necessary for the victims.
He said that a Family Support unit desk has been established in every Police station in Akwa Ibom to handle cases of rape and gender based violence.