Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Rape: NGO takes custody of minors

The orphanage
The two minors, allegedly raped by the Director of Light of Hope Orphanage, Mr. Atunde, have been taken into custody by a non-governmental organisation, Project Alert on Violence against Women.

The teenagers were taken in by the NGO after Atunde was arrested by the Zone 2 Police Command on Wednesday.

Project Alert had on March 26 written a petition to Zone 2 after officials of a private secondary school where the minors were students made complaints that both girls had been sexually abused by Atunde.

A copy of the petition made available to PUNCH Metro read, “On Friday last week, 13-year-old (name withheld) came late to school crying and not walking well. On close observation, they saw a trickle of blood coming down her legs. When asked what happened to her, she said, ‘Daddy forced me to have sex with him.’

“She pleaded with the officials not to tell Mrs. Atunde; she was afraid Atunde would be informed and could drive her away from the orphanage,” the petition said.

The petition also claimed that the NGO had earlier received a complaint from a former cook of the orphanage, Mrs. Akintunde, concerning Atunde.

Akintunde had alleged that she was fired by Atunde late last year when she stumbled upon him having sex with one of the female orphans.

PUNCH Metro gathered that Akintunde, representatives of Project Alert and Atunde met investigators at Zone 2 on Thursday.

Executive director of Project Alert, Mrs. Josephine Effuah-Chukwuma, said, “The girls are presently in our care, we have taken over their welfare. We got a document from the police to have them examined at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja. They have been examined by doctors today but still have to undergo more tests tomorrow.

“We intend to notify the Ogun State Ministry of Women Affairs formally because they licensed Atunde to operate that orphanage. It is important that the ministry investigates what is going on there because the girls have already said they are not the only victims there.”

The Police Public Relations Officer Zone Two, Mr. Femi Balogun, when contacted said, “The investigation is ongoing; Atunde is in our custody.”

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