Several female lawyers and doctors under the umbrellas of International Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA) and Nigerian Medical Women Association (NMWA) have promised to offer legal and medical services to a 12-year-old girl, who was allegedly raped by her father, 43, in Bayelsa State.
The incident took place in March at Imiringi community in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.
Mrs. Dise Ogbise-Erhisere, Chairman of FIDA, Bayelsa State chapter, who disclosed this in a statement in Yenagoa on Friday, said that the female doctors had conducted a medical examination on the victim in March.
She, however, said that the offer of legal and medical representations were open to the minor.
Ogbise-Erhisere also debunked reports credited to Mr. David Apigi, the victim’s uncle, that FIDA was slow in the handling of the rape case after the matter was reported to it.
She said that the reports were misleading and did not reflect the facts and circumstances surrounding the involvement of FIDA in the case.
“For the records, FIDA hereby states the facts of its endeavour to ensure that this horrendous crime is properly investigated and the culprit successfully prosecuted, convicted and appropriately punished in court.
“On the 14th of March 2016, the said David Apigi reported a case of alleged defilement to FIDA Bayelsa. That same day, FIDA lodged a complaint at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) in the presence of Mr. Apigi and the victim.
“Officers of SCID advised that the matter be reported in the first instance at Kolo Police Station which covers Imiringi where the crime was committed. FIDA did that. Afterwards, Kolo Police Station transferred the matter to Otuasega Divisional Headquarters.
“Following FIDA’s complaints, the police arrested and detained the alleged perpetrator. The police at Otuasega Divisional Headquarters subsequently transferred the matter and the suspect to SCID. SCID is currently investigating the matter.
“At the request of FIDA, our partners in the Nigerian Medical Women Association conducted a medical examination of the victim on the 16th of March 2016. The result of the examination will be out in due course.
“As can be seen from the facts just outlined, FIDA had within nine working days of becoming aware of the matter assigned a case-tracking officer to the case, held meetings with the police, and got our partners in the Nigerian Medical Women Association to medically examine the victim.
“Certainly, these facts do not suggest any degree of sluggishness on the part of FIDA.
“FIDA states without equivocation that at best, the statement is the result of Mr. Apigi’s ignorance of the meticulous processes that must be followed before the authorities can hope to secure a conviction in Court,” she said.
She said that FIDA Bayelsa State has had a track record of committed, selfless service to similar victims of sexual crimes.