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The Abia State Police Command has pa­raded three suspects, Chima Ochiabuto (35); Immaculate Ogbonnaya (25) and Uche Nwaokoro (20), for allegedly defiling a 12- year old girl.

The suspects, according to the police were arrested by the youths of the community and handed over following an alarm raised by the victim’s guardian.

The elder sister of the victim (names withheld) who stated that the girl lives with her, said the incident was discovered when the little girl sadly narrated her ordeal.

She said it happened on one day the family’s dog went missing and they went in search for it. The little girl went in a lonely direction in search for the dog and that was how she went missing. This development threw the family into panic and the search for the missing dog was suspended and turned to a search for the girl.

The girl later showed up after two days.

When confronted, she could not offer any convincing explanations and this made the elder sister lose her temper.

“When I started beating her, she told me that Chima (one of the alleged rapists) abducted and hid her in his house and had been having illicit carnal knowledge of her for two days. She also informed that the other victims had at various times equally had sex with her in turns.

“She further told me that one of the suspects had been telling her to misbehave so that when I beat her she can run away from the house and come to his house so that they can have more excuse to sleep under the pretext that he is protecting her,” she said.

Meanwhile, the victim, now in police custody, narrated how the suspects had at various times had sex with her, including how one of them kept her for two days at his residence while she was looking for the missing dog.

On of the suspects, Ochiabuto, a father of three, confessed that the girl was a friend of his daugh­ter and had been coming to his house to visit the daughter. Although he denied hav­ing sex with the girl, he admitted that sometime in August, he attempted to sleep with her when she came over in the night having said the sister chased her away for misbehaving.

An­other suspect, Uche, confessed to committing the crime, blaming it on the devil. “She came to my house and the devil tempted me and we slept together,” he confessed.

However, the third suspect, Immaculate, denied ever having sex with the victim. He explained that, “I was going home one night with my girlfriend and when I came to the village square, I saw this girl crying and I asked her why, she told me that she lost her Aunty’s N10 change and was beaten by her.

“I decided to take her to their house with my girlfriend and asked the sister to accept her back and that if she did not accept her, that I would report her for child abuse because it was already late in the night to send a small girl on errand or send her out of the house.

“After that I went home with my girlfriend. I was in the farm few days later when some youths in the village came and asked me to come home and when we got home they handed me over to the police saying I raped some­body. I did not sleep with her,” he insisted.

Meanwhile, police said the suspects would soon be arraigned in court.

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