The Ondo State police command has arraigned, before the Juvenile court in Akure, a 17-year-old student of St. Joseph College, Ondo, for allegedly sodomising an eight-year-old boy.
The victim is the son of an Akure-based journalist, Lanre Duyile.
A police spokesman, Femi Joseph, confirmed the teenager’s arraignment while giving an update on the case.
Mr. Joseph however did not give details of the charge preferred against the suspect, since it is a case involving a minor.
He said the arraignment was in fulfilment of the police’s promise to ensure justice.
“The case has been registered with the presiding magistrate who will get all facts before knowing the charges to be preferred against Olamilekan,” he said.
“I am sure hearing will commence at the next adjourned date. It is no longer in our hands.”
Reacting to the arraignment, Betty Abbah, the Chief Executive Officer of CEE Hope, a Non-Govermental Organisation, pursuing the case after a complaint was lodged by the victim’s father, said the arraignment was a relief.
“The prompt arrest and arraignment of the suspect by the police following our outcry and that of other members of the public is extremely commendable,” she said.
“The police has lived up to its billing that it can be responsive and stand for the protection of the most vulnerable which this little sodomised boy represents.”
She also advised the parents to resist any pressure to withdraw the case.
“I am aware that tremendous pressure is currently being mounted on the father of the boy by some powerful individuals to withdraw the case,” she revealed.
“He should be left alone with his family. At a point, he had to vacate his house to live in a church for fear of his family’s safety. Enough is enough.
“People, no matter how powerful, should be told that there are limits to their impunity especially in a country and a state governed by law and order.”
Ms. Betty called urged the state government, the Ministry of Women Affairs, the House of Assembly and all relevant stakeholders to step in to ensure justice was secured for the little boy.
She promised to begin a comprehensive psychosocial support to ensure the victim’s stability, safety and a sense of justice.
It was learnt that the arraignment did not come until the Mr. Duyile raised the alarm that the police was conniving with the parents of the suspect to sweep the case under the carpet.
The police promptly denied the allegation and rearrested the suspect after he was initially released.
Mr. Duyile narrated that he noticed his son was always touching the private parts of his mates, a development which prompted an investigation on his part.
The little boy later confessed to his parents that the suspect had been abusing him whenever he was left with their neighbour in their absence.