A Corps member attached to the Asamabiri Community Primary School in Asamabiri community of Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Jonathan Ogbe, has absconded from his one-year compulsory national service over his alleged involvement in the defilement of a 12-year-old pupil in the state.
It was gathered that Jonathan Ogbe, 31 years and indigene of Kogi State, with NYSC call up number, NYSC/ABU/2020/113131, abandoned service and has since refused to pick up his discharge certificate having been on the run from the law.
Following the incident which allegedly occurred in September 2021, the Civil Society Group, Gender-based advocacy groups and indigenes of the community have accused the gender unit of the Bayelsa Police Command of foot-dragging in arresting and prosecuting the corps member.
The NYSC through the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mathew Ngobua, however, denied claims of footdragging but revealed that the corps member had already absconded following the allegations.
He said, ” The accused has abandoned service and all his numbers and that of his next of kin are not reachable. He has not even picked up his discharge certificate for service”.
Ngobua also said the disappearance of the accused corps member was noticed when he was invited for the usual practice of the NYSC disciplinary measure of bringing the accused to camp, de-kitting them and handing them over to the police for investigation.
”We discovered that he has abandoned service.
It was also gathered yesterday that the accused Corps member, reportedly lured the 12 years old girl, names withheld, who is a pupil in the community primary school to his house and defiled her repeatedly.
According to the father of the victim, Nelson Gbaranbiri, his wife brought his attention to some strange discharge found in the panties of his 12-years-old daughter while doing her laundry. “My wife brought my attention to the stains and discharges she usually finds in the panties of my daughter. When I asked about what happened to her private part, she told me that ‘uncle’ will beat her.”
Gbaranbiri also confirmed that when he reported to the Divisional Police, they did nothing concerning the incident, “they asked me to arrest the accused and bring him to the station. They even demanded that I pay them before they can drive down to arrest the suspect. I also met with the NYSC, they also showed signs of indifference. I have protested now to the GRIT and hoping actions would be taken to arrest and prosecute this paedophile.”
In the petition forwarded to the State Police Commissioner and dated 3rd of September, 2021, the counsel to the victim’s family, A.O.Aniso Esq, said “When the accused corps member was confronted with the victim’s claim, he admitted being responsible and pleaded for forgiveness. And seeing that the minor was physically distressed and needed medical attention, the parents took her to the community medical centre and their worst fears were confirmed.
“After the medical confirmation, the family again confronted the corps member over his wrongdoing and he apologize profusely even offering N50, 000 to cover medical treatment. This is a criminal act and he has brought great shame to my client’s family”.
Also reacting to the copy of the petition made available to the State Gender Response Initiative Team (GRIT), the Chairperson, Barr. Dise Ogbise confirmed that the GRIT has just received the petition and assured that “GRIT will reach out to the State Police Command for more update
”We anticipate a prompt response by the Police to the petition already served them. As GRIT, Bayelsa State, we will not relax and we will give the child all the necessary legal and psychological support needed”.
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