The police have arraigned 25-year-old painter, Hamzat Afeez, for allegedly raping a three-year-old girl in the Egbeda area of Lagos State.
He was arraigned on one count of rape at the Ebute Meta Chief Magistrate’s Court.
Afeez allegedly took the victim’s younger sister into his room while their mother washed clothes in the house.
The victim was said to have followed Afeez into his room in a bid to play with her sister.
Our correspondent was told that the suspect raped her.
She was said to have narrated the incident to her parents, who alerted policemen from the Gowon Estate Police Station.
PUNCH Metro reported that the suspect, in an attempt to cover up the case, offered to compensate the victim’s family with N100, 000 as payment for her medical bills.
He was said to have been subsequently granted bail by the police.
After our correspondent reported the incident, the Lagos State Government and a non-governmental organisation, Project Alert on Violence Against Women, intervened and the suspect was re-arrested.
He was arraigned on one count of rape.
The charge reads, “That you, Hamzat Afeez aka AZ, on December 13, 2014, at about 2.45pm at Remi Ogunjimi Street, Egbeda, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did have sexual intercourse with a minor, three-year-old, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.”
He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. A.A. Demi-Ajayi, granted him bail in the sum of N500, 000 with two sureties in like sum.
Meanwhile, PUNCH Metro has learnt that the victim, her sister and mother, had been taken into custody by the Lagos State Government, pending when a permanent relocation arrangement would be made for them.
The victim’s father, Okechukwu, said the NGO had assisted the family with some money.
He added that he was seeking a new apartment in another area of the state.
He said he looked forward to resettling with his family after the trauma of the incident.
He said, “We are no longer living in Egbeda. The state government has taken custody of my wife and kids since the incident to protect them while I am trying to get new accommodation.”
The Executive Director of Project Alert, Mrs. Josephine Effah-Chukwuma, said the group would not give up until it gave justice to the victim.