The police in Calabar have arrested a 73-year-old retired army captain for allegedly defiling his four-year-old niece.
Bassey Ekanem allegedly fingered the girl in his residence at 12, Edim Ibangha Street, Big Qua Town, Calabar.
According to Vanguard, a source said Ekanem claimed he was under the influence of alcohol.
The retired army Captain, who the child refers to as grandpa, has been in the North for years before he came to Calabar after retiring from the army.
To have the girl to himself, he sent the woman living with him out of the house then allegedly assaulted the child.
A source who spoke to the publication said: “He (suspect) had sent the lady living with him to make soup while she went to buy fish at Marian market, Bassey lured the little girl into his apartment and started fingering her and broke her hymen in the process.
“It was the victim’s younger brother who is about two years old who told their mother that grandpa put his hand inside her sister’s bum bum before their mother raised the alarm and the matter was reported to Akim police station.”
The Principal Counsel, Basic Right Council Initiative, James Ibor Esq, told the publication that the case was one amongst many adding that rape incidents were becoming increasingly alarming.
“I am heartbroken and appalled by the increasing number of rape every day in Calabar and beyond, the Child Rights Act really needs to be implemented to the latter because the girl child is going through a lot.
“This particular matter cannot be swept under the carpet and the suspect must face the full wrath of the law even though they are related, because in most cases when the case is gaining momentum, a lot of pressure starts coming in for the matter to become compromised especially when it has to do with a relative.
“He is now in Police custody and we expect our officers to do a thorough job because this is one too many in the rape saga ravaging the country, it didn’t start today but it’s high time people started speaking up, rape is a serious crime.
“The suspect has confessed to the act and it is only the Court that can determine whether he had the capacity to carry out the act as there are claims he was under the influence of alcohol at the time he committed the abominable act,” Ibor said.
Ibor who is also the Chairperson, Child Protection Network in Cross River called on parents to enlighten their children at a very early age as signs and other emotional signals can be detected early like the younger brother to the victim who is just about 2 years did.
“There is a need to teach both the boy and girl child at a tender age because it’s because of what the little brother understood that exposed the matter in the first place, so educate your children always,” he said.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Irene Ugbo, said, “The man is in our custody. I won’t say much until we get the medical report on the incident.”