*Victim’s father admits receiving N50,000 from suspects
A director of finance, Ahmad Yahya Nawawi; one Habibu Abubakar, and another person, all staff of the Sokoto State Urban and Regional Planning Board have allegedly impregnated a 14-year-old girl.
The trio allegedly took turns to have carnal of the girl, a sachet water hawker, in one of their offices, which has resulted into a six-month-old pregnancy. The suspects were said to have admitted committing the crime in their separate confessional statements at the Zonal Office of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP).
However, Nawawi told our reporter that the entire allegation was a “frame up” with political undertones. Also, Abubakar dismissed the allegation as a frame up. He further alleged that they confessed under duress at the NAPTIP office.
A maternal aunty to the girl, Hajiya Maryam Yusuf, alleged that the father was given the sum of N250,000, to withdraw the case and he allegedly used part of the money to buy a plot of land. However, the father, Malam Muhammadu, who initially denied being financially induced to withdraw the case, later told our reporter that he received only N50,000 from the suspects, when he fell sick. Muhammadu said he withdrew the case on moral grounds and that he believed in destiny as a Muslim. He added that the suspects have promised to take care of his daughter and her education even after she puts to bed but that they did not make any commitment to their unborn child.
The aunty told our reporter that the victim’s parents separated before she was born and that, the mother who was her younger sister stayed and delivered the girl in her residence. “And she died not too long after her delivery, because she lost a lot of blood during the labour. I had wanted to keep the baby with me, but her father objected to that. Since then, the girl has been shuttling between her father’s house and her maternal grandmother’s house and only comes to my house when she is in need of something. “I was in Niger Republic for my business when my brother called to break this sad news and because of that I rushed back home.
On arrival, we went to her father who confirmed the incident, but that we should not worry, because it was already settled, which I vehemently disagreed to, because, how could she still be under custody if the case was truly over?. “He confessed to us that he was given enough money to abort the pregnancy and take care of the girl. So I went to the NAPTIP office to see her,” she said. According to Hajiya Maryam, there was pressure and threats to her life over her refusal to let the case rest. “I cannot let it go. They summoned me and offered me some money, but I refused to collect it.
Now they are threatening my life,” she alleged. She reiterated that she would not back down until justice was done to her niece. When contacted, the Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, Abubakar Tabra, confirmed that the victim was with them, but declined further comments, saying he was not authorized to address the press on the matter.
The Commander also declined to grant our reporter access to the girl. When contacted, the Special Adviser to Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal in charge of the agency, Sidi Aliyi Lamido, said they were aware of the case and since two of the suspects, the Director of Finance and the other suspect, were staff of Ministry of Finance, they had written to the ministry for further necessary action.
Meanwhile, the state coordinator of Human Rights Commission, Barrister Hamza Liman, said they were aware of the case and they would follow it up to its logical conclusion.