Residents of Graceland Avenue, Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area of Abia State, on Sunday beat and paraded a 60-year-old man who allegedly raped a 10-year-old girl.
The suspect, who is also a resident of the area, was said to have tricked the minor into coming to his room, where he quietly slept with her and asked her to remain quiet.
The man popularly known in the area as “Mbaise” (name of his hometown), is said to be a security guard in a secondary school in the area.
Eyewitnesses disclosed that the victim whose mother is late, lives with her father and two younger brothers that are often left in her care.
Madam Doris, a neigbour to both the victim and the accused, said the victim told her initially that she was inside the accused’s room, but overstayed.
She said, “I saw her moving out of the compound, when I asked her, she said Uncle Mbaise sent her on errand.
“After a long time, I did not see her. Later when I saw her, I asked her where she has been, she said she was inside Uncle Mbaise’s room.
“Then I asked her what she was doing there and if she saw any of her mates there? I was actually not suspecting anything when I made those inquiries.
“So, I left her. Later she told her fellow little children how Uncle Mbaise took her into his room, pulled off his trousers and lay on top of her.
“I decided to wait so that when her father returns, he’ll ask Uncle Mbaise if the statement from the little girl is true. This was on Saturday before the father decided to make move today being Sunday.
“People have been complaining that he has been touching their little girls whenever they get to his side, but there has not been any evidence until this one.
“What he did is disgraceful. One man has done same thing here before and he also saw how that one went, he’s repeating same again.”
Our Correspondent, reports that the victim’s father, who refused to report the matter to the police, shocked the crowd when he said if the accused had approached him privately, they would have settled the matter amicably.
“What shocks me most is that after beating the man, and others suggesting we should take him to police, the girl’s father who raised alarm initially refused to take any action. But my worry is that this is not the first time such a thing is happening in that particular compound.
Meanwhile, the accused after several efforts meant to make him speak, refused to utter a word. He neither confirmed nor denied the allegation leveled against him.
When contacted to know if the man actually reported the alleged rape of his daughter to the police, Abia State Police Spokesman, SP Geoffrey Ogbonna, said no one briefed him on the matter.