Igwe Benneth Emeka, the traditional ruler of an Anambra community, Umueri, located in Anambra East Local Government of the state has suspended an Octogenarian from the royal cabinet for allegedly defiling a 10-year-old girl at a building site.
According to the traditional ruler of the community, the 80-year-old, Vincent Okoye, committed the crime and does not deserve to be part of the members of the royal cabinet.
While addressing the All Nations Arise and Manifest Initiative (ANAM), at his palace on Saturday, the monarch said the community did not condone such crime.
He said, “The suspect has been suspended from the royal cabinet as the alleged crime is a taboo and embarrassing to the community.
“The man in question is a member of my cabinet, he is my financial secretary and immediately the matter was reported, we suspended him and he can never come back to the cabinet again.
“The matter has been taken to court and that shows that the community does not condone such crime. We have also given the girl scholarship to show our concern and protect her future. It could have been anybody’s child.
“I’m advising parents, especially mothers to be cautious and take responsibility for the safety and security of their children.”
Anambra Police Command, Public Relations Officer, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed that the suspect had been arrested and charged to court.
Also speaking, Inspector Richard Okoti, the Resident Prosecutor handling the matter confirmed that the suspect was arraigned at Otuocha Chief Magistrates’ Court on April 29, where he pleaded not guilty and was granted bail on health grounds.
However, Mrs Tessy Aniesi, President, ANAM Transformation Movement expressed dissatisfaction as the matter was being adjourned indefinitely and urged the police to prosecute and ensure justice for the victim.
Aniesi said that the case was brought to the organisation by the Chairperson of Umuada Umueri, Mrs Chinasa Madisife.
Giving further details about the incident, she said, “The workers at the building site where the suspect is supervising said they noticed that each time the girl comes to run errands for the suspect, he takes her to a completed building at the site and lock the door.
“On April 26, they saw her come out of the building crying. They called her and she narrated that the suspect always has sex with her whenever her mother asks her to run errands for him.
She added, “The workers confronted the man and called the attention of the vigilante group, the Igwe and the Umuada of Umueri community, and eventually ANAM took up the matter on behalf of the mother.
“During interrogation, the girl said the suspect has been abusing her but she could not report the crime to her mother or anyone because the man threatened to kill her.”