AWKA, South-East, Nigeria – A 35-year-old man, Joseph Egwuatu, has been arraigned before the Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Magistrate Court in Awka on Wednesday for raping his two-year-old niece.
The incident occured in Nzam, Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The suspect, Egwuatu, reportedly visited his brother’s house and sent the relative who was taking care of the baby on an errand before allegedly committing the crime.
Reacting to the news in a statement, Anambra State Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo, expressed sadness over the incident but assured that justice will take its full course.
She added that the ministry will soon commence a media tour to sensitize citizens of the state on the dangers and consequences of rape, child molestation, child labour, abuse and other related issues.
The commissioner further revealed that the culprit, after his arraignment denied having carnal knowledge of the baby.
According to the statement, the culprit claimed he offered to look after the child when the babysitter went on an errand; adding that he stepped outside to get a few things done but returned to the room when he heard the baby crying only to discover her in a pool of her own blood.
A family source who pleaded anonymity said the sexual organ of the child, who will be two years old on April 19, was brutally damaged. She also alleged that Egwuatu intentionally sent the child’s minder on an errand before engaging in the dastard act.
The child has been taken to the hospital for medical attention while the court ordered the culprit remanded in prison.