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Absence of translator stalls trial of man who allegedly raped 4y.o daughter

A 35 year old man, Onyebuchi Ezenwa charged by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for allegedly raping his 4 year old daughter yesterday stalled his arraignment before an Abuja High Court, sitting in Lugbe.

When the charge was to be read to Mr. Ezenwa, who had taken his place in the dock, his counsel, Ejeh Monday Ejeh told the court that his client did not understand English.

“My lord, while taking the brief of the defendant yesterday, we understand he does not understand English, but only understands pidgin and Igbo language”, Barrister Ejeh submitted.

In his reaction, the Prosecuting Counsel, Cornelius Dabigyet noted that although it was clear by the suspect’s own admission that he understood the proceedings that had gone on so far, he would not oppose a request for an Igbo speaking interpreter.

The trial Judge, Justice Asmau Akanbi-Yusuf, who also noted that the defendant had said he understood the dialogue so far, held that he was entitled to an interpreter.

Accordingly, Justice Akanbi-Yusuf adjourned the matter to June 16, 2020 to enable the court provide an interpreter who understands Igbo language.

A Non Governmental Organization, Make A Difference (MAD) Initiative had rallied the community vigilante to arrest and deliver the suspect who had fled his home following the alarm raised by his wife that he had raped their 4 year old daughter.

A thorough medic examination at the Police Hospital in Area 1, Garki revealed that the child had been violated.

Speaking on the rising cases of rape, the Communication and Advocacy Director of MAD, Lemmy Ughegbe described it as a pandemic that needs deliberate and concerted effort by government and the people to curb.

“Rape is a virus that has become a pandemic in our country now. This should be a source of grave concern to government and the people, owing to the brave psychosocial consequences that it poses to victims and society.

He said as part of his initiative’s effort to address the rape pandemic, a town hall meeting, which would have stakeholders from the judiciary, human rights and civil society community was being put together.

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