An Uyo based Communications and Security Consultants – Odomas & Associates has come out in defence of the police in connection with the rape story involving a police inspector, attached to Mkpat Enin Police station.
Last week, some national newspapers came out with the story of a police inspector raping a 15-year old school girl at gun point in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area.
But speaking to reporters in Uyo over the weekend, the organization’s spokesman, Mr. Nsima Odioh described the report as false, aimed primarily at damaging the image of the police. He said “While we are not saying that the police, like any other establishments in Nigeria, has no bad eggs in its fold, this particular story of rape against the police inspector is untrue because after going through the story as reported in the newspapers, one thing struck as, and that is: the similarity in the construction of the story, giving the impression that the story was written by one writer and circulated to newspaper offices, in the form of a press release sponsored by interested parties.”
According to him, in recognizing and appreciating the contributions of the police to the larger society and as believers in justice and fair-play, we were compelled to examine the circumstances leading to this rape story, as reported in the papers, with a view to throwing some light in it and leaving it in the court of public opinion.
The story, he went on, contained some vindictive expressions which easily exposed the sponsors’ long-standing grudge against the police as evidenced in a remark by one Dr. Ime Stephen, the uncle of the girl allegedly raped, who said: “He (referring to the embattled inspector) is fraudulent…. We call for his removal from the force so that he can be prosecuted accordingly.”
The spokesman wondered why a man who had made a report to the police, is also the same person who is instituting the police to sack the accused inspector without waiting for the end of investigations in the matter.
He said “To a very keen reader, with an interpretative mind, the story lacks substance because it was not properly investigated before it was rushed to the press for publication. According to reports, the Police Inspector was at the head of a police team on patrol. Along the road they saw “a-15-year old girl returning from church; the inspector raised the gun, cocked it and pointed it at her, saying if she resisted, he would shot her.”
Then he asked: “What offence did the poor girl commit that the Police Inspector should arrest her? Is it a crime for her to have gone to church? That is why we find that aspect of the report funny and unbelievable. The reporter should have found out why the girl was arrested by the police instead of relying on hearsay, before publishing the story. The DPO in Mkpat Enin, whose station the victim was allegedly detained, should have been interviewed by the press.”
The spokesman described the aspect of the report which stated that the inspector raped the girl in a dark area along the road as unbelievable, questioning “Where were other members of the police team when the inspector was raping the girl? And, as the incident took place “on the road,” did no vehicle or motorcycle or any human being pass along the said road throughout the period the open sex drama lasted.”
On Dr Ime Stephen, the organization said: “We guess that he is a very important personality, highly exposed. Why should such a person, with considerable influence, give police N10,000.00 for bail, when he is supposed to know that bail is free in Nigeria. And why did he not report the matter first to DPO, Mkpat Enin before rushing to Ikot Akpan Abia to lay the complaint?”
In conclusion, Odomas made it clear that its involvement in this matter was not to influence the on-going investigation but to discourage false accusations against public officers by uninformed citizens, and expressed confidence in the ability of Commissioner of Police Akwa Ibom State, Mr Murtala Mani to handle the matter without fear or favour.