By Frank Ulom
A 52-year-old man, Godwin Brown Akpan has been sentenced to two years imprisonment for raping an 11-year-old girl in Cross River State.
Converseer learned that Akpan was sentenced on Tuesday, 30 January 2024, after being found guilty of the crime.
He was convicted and sentenced by Justice Omini Ikpi of a court sitting in Akamkpa LGA of the state.
Akpan committed the despicable act on the 2nd of December 2021, when he deceitfully lured the young girl to his residence under false pretences and proceeded to commit the heinous crime.
The sentencing of Akpan, according to Basic Rights Counsel Initiative, BRCI (a non-governmental organisation saddled with the responsibility of protecting children and human rights), serves as a reminder of the vulnerability of children to predators and the importance of swift and decisive legal action in such cases.
In a similar vein, a 25-year-old man was also convicted of rape and sentenced to life imprisonment.
These cases shed light on the pervasive issue of rape and the urgent need for stronger measures to combat such crimes.
According to BRCI, the successful prosecution and sentencing of Ita would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of various stakeholders, including the Ministry of Justice, FIDA (International Federation of Women Lawyers), Basic Rights Counsel Initiative, the Nigerian Police, and all those involved in ensuring that justice was served for the survivor.
“Their commitment to upholding the rule of law and protecting survivors of rape is commendable and reflects a collective determination to combat such heinous crimes.
“…the case demonstrates that the fight against rape is far from over. It is imperative for society as a whole to stand united in condemning Rape and advocating for stricter measures to prevent such atrocities from occurring. By raising awareness, supporting survivors, and holding perpetrators accountable, a safer and more just society will be created for all.”
A study conducted by the BRCI in 2022, shows that 22 case records of sexual assault victims were treated at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH.
The incidence of reported sexual assault in this study was 2.1% with a rising trend observed. Age range was from 4 to 23 years. Six (27.3%) victims were primary school pupils. Twelve (54.5%) victims had not attained menarche, and 20 (90.9%) cases were single.
Recorded places of assault were commonly along a bush track (36.4%) and a nearby cemetery (22.7%).
Time of assault was mainly in the evening (50.0%). Identity of the assailant was known in 7 (31.8%) cases. Commonest weapon used by the assailant was a knife (36.4%).