-Weeps in police cell
‘We’ll get to the root of the matter,’ Lagos PPRO
Onikan, Lagos DPO, Mr. Adekunle Awe, arrested on Thursday, April 17, 2014, for alleged rape of a suspect, Idowu Akinwunmi has every reason to weep in police cell. The randy DPO may spend a better part of his life in jail, if found guilty of the felonious offence of rape and threat to life.
The suspected rapist, detained at the state police command headquarters, reportedly wept all through Good Friday (April 18) blaming his ordeal on the devil.
Sources claim the embattled DPO was heard lamenting that the devil brought those suspects to put him in trouble. He prayed that God will intervene in his case and protect his job.
Adekunle Awe, the DPO in-charge of Onikan station, was arrested by the Lagos State Police Command, for alleged rape and threat to life. Awe allegedly raped a cook, Idowu Akinwunmi in his office on Wednesday, April 16, 2014.
And confirming this in a phone chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Saturday, April 19, 2014, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ngozi Braide said they would get to the root of the matter. She also disclosed that the DPO has been relieved of his post, pending the outcome of the investigation.
In her words: “It is true. The man is in our custody and he had been relieved of his duty as DPO, pending the outcome of our investigation. The commissioner of police has set up a very poiwerful investigation panel to ensure no stone is unturned in pursuing justice. The lady alleged that she was raped by the DPO and investigation has commenced on the allegation.
“It is a very serious allegation and the Lagos State Command will do everything to get to the root of the matter. And we shall keep you posted with whatever is the outcome of the investigation.”
Idowu Akinwunmi, 31, and a mother of two children had accused the randy DPO of raping her on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, while in police custody after she was arrested by men of the Onikan Police Division.
From what Idowu said, she was arrested on Tuesday, April 14, 2014, after her boss, Ms Idowu Pelumi had reported her to the police, accusing her of bringing a male friend to her restaurant to pass the night.
“I work at an eatery on Keffi Street, Obalende, Lagos, as a cook. The eatery also has a tailor’s shop in the compound which belongs to the same person. There is also a quarters where we all live in the compound. Most of the workers are from Cotonou, Benin Republic. On Monday, a popular customer, known as Friday, came to eat. He later left, but some moments after, he returned to say he could not get a bus home. Friday had been making advances at me, but we were not a couple. I allowed him to sleep over.”
When her boss found out that Friday slept at her restaurant, she got the police to arrest both of them.
“My madam called policemen to arrest all of us. I had only a pair of shorts, a shirt and a wrapper on. I had N1,000 in my pocket and my phone was not with me. On getting to the station, I took he phone of a policewoman to call one of the tailors to come and help. In the morning of Tuesday, two tailors, Ben and Mathias arrived to bail out their friends, but they were also arrested, bringing our total number to six.”
The following day, as the story was told, Idowu ran into the DPO of the police station after using the bathroom. DPO Awe reportedly asked why she was arrested and after narrating what happened, Idowu claimed he then invited her to his office and had sex with her without using a condom.
“Around 10 am, on Tuesday, the DPO sent a policeman to call Friday and I was wearing boxers and a top. I stayed at the counter and he went in to see the DPO. A few minutes later, Friday came out and the DPO called me in. He said he could make sure I spent the rest of my life in jail, but I begged him. He then came close to me and started rubbing his hands all over my body but I rejected his advances. He said my boss had told him that he could do whatever he wanted to do with me.
“He said since I was from Benin Republic, if he killed me, nothing would happen. He said he would also make sure the remaining five suspects would be sent to prison. At this point, the DPO had already taken off his clothes. Since I was afraid of my life, I allowed the DPO to have his way. I begged him to use condom but he refused. He pushed me to a smaller room in his office and put me on the bed and had sex with me. Immediately he finished, he told me to shower in a bathroom inside his office.”
Idowu said the next morning, while she was about to leave, the DPO asked for her phone number but she refused to give it to him. She said the DPO promised that with the sex she already offered, she would not pay any bail but to her surprise, N30,000 was collected from her.
As soon as Idowu left the Onikan police station, she went for a test at the Lagos Island Maternity Clinic. A copy of the medical report signed by one Dr R. A. Seriki stated:
“A complaint of sexual assault: General Clinical Condition satisfactory: no laceration, no bruise, no areas of hyperemia, negative for HIV 1 and 2, pregnancy negative. Has been placed on PEP and emergency contraception.”
DPO Awe’s trouble was doubled when an NGO, the Network on Police Reforms (NOPRIN) petitioned the National Human Rights Commission over the alleged rape of Idowu Akinwunmi.
In fact, NOPRIN’s co-ordinator, Mr. Okechukwu Nwaguma assured the public they would follow the case to its logical conclusion, with a view to bringing the randy DPO to justice.
The case was promptly forwarded to the office of the Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, who reportedly had a long meeting with the accused DPO and Idowu on Thursday, April 17, 2014. The Inspector General of Police was also briefed after which he directed Tanko to protect the image of the police by ‘doing the right thing’.
And with the Lagos State Government’s interest in the matter, coupled with the determination of Civil society organizations, including Project Alert on Violence Against Women, Women Arise, among others, to get justice to the rape victim, the DPO is obviously in a big mess.
A bad case from head to two, Awe, in addition to going to jail if found guilty of rape and threat to life, will also lose his job for not controlling his libido.
Awe and two other senior police officers are being investigated by the Special Investigation Bureau (SIB) at the command headquarters, Ikeja, Lagos.
The DPO would likely be charged as prime suspect early next week since there seems to be a prima facie evidence to nail him. The others might be charged as accomplices so far as they didn’t report the ugly incident to senior police authority.
WHAT THE LAW SAYS ABOUT RAPE
Rape is a very serious offence in Nigeria. Classified as felonious, convicted offenders risk jail terms of between seven and 14 years’ depending on the discretion of the judge and the nature of the offence. In fact, the Niger State House of Assembly, only weeks back, passed into law a bill seeking to review the 14 year jail term for rape convicts to 21 years without option of fine. Some other states of the federation are also reviewing laws on rape to curb the upsurge of the heinous crime.
According to the Nigerian penal code, “A man can be held guilty of rape if he has sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent, if consent was unlawfully obtained. And section 37 of the criminal code act, CAP 17, Law of the Federal of Republic of Nigeria, 1990 opines that any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of false threats or intimidation of any kind or by fear of harm or by means of false or fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act or in a case of a married woman, by personating her husband, is guilty of an offence called rape.”
The criminal code went further to explain that: “When the term, carnal connection is used in defining an offence, it is implied that the offence so far as regards that element of it is complete upon penetration. (That is penile-virginal penetration).”
But anti rape activists have been calling for a review of this to accommodate the more encompassing global definition and understanding of the offence of rape which does not necessarily mean only carnal knowledge of a victim’s forced penetrative sex.
– UCHE OLEHI