Alleged rape: Commercial driver insist police arrest widow for not wearing nose mask

From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt

A commercial driver simply identified as Mr Lucky has disclosed that police Inspector Peter Ibah actually arrested the widow who claimed to have been raped, for not putting on nose mask around Saapenkwaa junction in Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State last Tuesday, contrary to claims by the officers that she came to visit him.

It would be recalled that last week Tuesday, a widow and mother of two accused the said police officer of arresting and detaining her for not wearing nose mask and later raped her.

Following the speculation of the news of the crime, four police officers on duty with the suspect were invited for questioning at the State Police Command, while investigation is on to unravel the truth on the alleged crime.

The officers claimed last Thursday in a meeting in the office of the state Police Public Officer, SP Nnamdi Omoni, that the widow was not arrested for not putting on nose mask but rather she alighted at the place to visit the said Inspector who had earlier agreed with her to stop by when she is coming back from Bori, Khana LGA.

The widow had earlier told newsmen that she was arrested for not putting on nose mask and instead of the Police to take her to the station she was diverted to a guest house where she was allegedly raped till daybreak by the said Peter Ibah.

The police Spokesperson who confirmed that the Police officers are serving at MOPOL 56 at Saakpenwaa not Saakpenwaa Police Station, disclosed that the Commissioner of Police (CP), Joseph Mukan, has ordered that the case file be transferred to State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) for thorough investigation after which the outcome of the investigation will be made public.

The Police Spokesperson also appealed to members of the Public to remain calm as justice will not only be served in the matter.

Meanwhile, the commercial driver who drove the vehicle that the widow was in before the incident explained that he loaded his vehicle at Bori in Khana Local Government Area of the state and on getting to Saapenkwaa three officers stopped the vehicle.

The driver disclosed that he gave her his nose mask after they understood the officers were arresting people who did not have nose mask.

The driver stated that the Police said they have arrested her already and would not let her go even though the driver just gave her nose mask.

Mr Lucky revealed that despite the plea by other passengers of the bus to let her go, as the incident happened in the evening, but the Police officers insisted on detaining her.

The driver noted that the officers threatened to shoot the tyre of the vehicle if the driver fail to leave.

The driver said, “at that point, I had to leave the place and continued the journey without the widow”.

A Human Rights Advocate, Prince Wiro, in his reaction revealed that the testimony of the driver of the vehicle has put to rest the claim by the officers that the woman was never arrested.

Mr Wiro urged the Police authority in the state not to shield any of their officer found culpable in course of investigation.

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