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A horror story

This is a story of a 16 years old girl who fall the victim of some police men in Kano state Nigeria. And how the case was handled by the Federal Government,State Government and the Policemen.

The Kano State Police Command has dismissed two constables who abducted and raped a 16-year-old girl for one month, and demoted the police inspector who connived in the crime.

The state's Police Commissioner, Muhammad Tambari Yabo said the dismissed policemen, Yusuf Ibrahim and Salisu Mahmud were found to be the prime suspects in the rape case, while Mohammed Dantalle, the inspector, was demoted for his complicity.

Mr Yabo said the three policemen were tried and found guilty at orderly room level. He said that he personally reviewed the outcome of the orderly room trial and handed them the punishment.

He also said plans are afoot to send the case diary to the state's Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for professional advice in prosecuting the three men.

On the civilian collaborators said to be linked with the crime, the commissioner said information available to the police showed that they have fled to Lagos and Ibadan. He said the command had already declared them wanted and circulated their photographs in those areas for easy apprehension.

Mr Yabo said the three civilians actively took part in the alleged crime alongside the policemen, and there will be no hiding place for them because soon the law will catch up with them.

"We will continue to do our work with the fear of God," he said. "We hope that the measures taken against the cops will help address the concern being raised by members of the public since the matter came to limelight last month."

The 16-year-old girl, name withheld, was abducted by some policemen who were on night patrol in Kano city. She was subsequently kept in captivity for 28 days inside a room at Kwali Police Station where she was serially raped.

A horror story

The teenager, who said she was a virgin before the incident, explained that one of the policemen who abducted her proceeded to give her to other men who also raped her and paid him for it. According to her, the policemen often used their official patrol vehicle to take her to the patrons.

Narrating her ordeal, the teenager recalled that she got on a motorcycle from Unguwa Uku, with the intention of returning home to Yakasai quarters after visiting her mother.

Her mother has been married to another man since the death of her father and she makes it a duty to visit her mother from the house of her grandparents in Yakasai.

She said while on her way home, the commercial motorcycle rider spotted a team of policemen on patrol a few metres ahead of them. It was still around 9pm. However, knowing that his motorcycle had no headlamp, the motorcyclist turned off his engine and pushed the bike until they got past the police.

"But as we got to the policemen, they asked him why he was moving with a girl," she said. "He replied that the motorcycle developed a problem. They now asked him if it still has fuel and he answered yes. One of the policemen collected the key from him and started the bike and thereafter challenged him for riding without light."

The policemen asked the motorcyclist to ride on and leave her behind. They told him they were going to take her home in their patrol vehicle and also asked her to go and wait for them in the police car.

She pleaded with the policemen to allow her to go home because she was sleepy. After keeping her until 2am, they drove with her into their barracks in Kwalli area where they locked her in a room and went away. She said Mr Yusuf later came in with a gun and threatened to kill her if she shouts, before proceeding to rape her.

"He threatened that if I didn't shut my mouth, he was going to shoot me with the gun. He slapped me and tore my shirt and pointing a gun to my face," she said.

A sex slave

She said she was later repeatedly raped by Mr. Yusuf and two other policemen, Dantalle and Salisu Dansanda, as well as three civilians, Shehu, Misbahu Mohammed and Sanusi Pele.

She added that she was even taken to an Indian hemp dealer and some other persons who raped her and paid the policemen some money afterwards. They came back to pick her up with the police patrol van the next day.

The teenager said during her 28-day captivity, apart from Mr Yusuf whom she said turned her into a sex-slave, each of the two policemen and the three civilians serially raped her and mostly without using condom.

She disclosed that when she managed to escape from her captors three weeks ago, her uncle went with her the next day to report at Kwalli police station. But the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the station begged the relatives to forgive his men and let the matter die.

The grandfather, who rejected the position of the DPO, instructed her brothers to take the matter up with the Hisbah, the state shari'ah law enforcement agency.

The secretary of the Hisbah board, Sunusi Salisu Aliyu, said when Mr. Yusuf was invited by his men for questioning and admitted abducting the girl but denied raping her.

"We wonder how the policeman failed to provide an answer as to why the police chose to hide a person they picked during patrol in a private room instead of registering her at the counter," Mr Aliyu said.

Calls for prosecution

The family said it has been under pressure by some police officers to abandon the case.

The Kano office of the Legal Aid Council has, through its coordinator, Nurudeen Ishola, said it is going to wade into the matter and take the girl's plight up with the Kano State Attorney General.

The National Human Rights Commission had also expressed concern at reports that policemen had tried to suppress evidence in the case, including attempting to persuade the victims' parents to abandon the case.

Renowned Islamic scholar, Tijjani Bala Kalarawi condemned the act and called on the authority not to only dismiss the officers but to take them to the court where the teenager can be compensated.

"This world is full of evil men," he said. "You can imagine people saddled with the responsibility of protecting the citizens would now deviate and carry out such bad act. It is a pity that this can happen in our society; these people must be brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others."

A group of concerned persons in Kano had also addressed the media, demanding the immediate trial of the suspected rapists.

The group, led by a lawyer, Abdulla Imam, called on both the state and the federal government to prosecute the accused persons. He said a group of lawyers were working together in respect of the case and vowed to pursue it until justice is done.

Thank You
Zainab Ahmed

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