Ondo State Police command have arrested a 43-year-old farmer, Francis Joseph, for allegedly raping a 12-year-old daughter of his friend.
Joseph was said to have lured the young girl to his house in Lugbogi area in Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State and forcefully defiled her.
Joseph, who hails from Ogoja, Cross River State alongside the father of the young girl.
It was gathered that Joseph who is married to four wives with nine children after having carnal knowledge of the girl told the young girl to keep it a secret her or else she would die mysteriously.
According to a family source, the little girl was scared to tell her parents until she started bleeding in the middle of the night and was rushed to the hospital.
She disclosed that at least five of the suspect’s children are older than the rape victim who sees Joseph as her father.
She said “the 12-year-old girl was rushed to the hospital, bleeding profusely from the private part having been defiled and sexually abused, she is still in the hospital till now.
“Her parents reported the incident at the Enuowa police station but to the chagrin of all neighbours, Joseph had left his home before dawn before the arrival of the policemen.”
She, however, said that Joseph was arrested at a park in Ondo town on Thursday while trying to board a bus to Lagos and was subsequently handed over to the police.
While speaking with newsmen, the suspect explained that the people of the community conspired against him and implicated him for the crime, but failed to explain the reasons for running away from the community.
The young girl, however, insisted that his father’s friend, Joseph, was responsible for the rape, saying he forcefully had carnal knowledge of her in his house and warned her not to inform anybody.
However, it was gathered that the family of the suspect have been pleading with the victim’s family to settle the matter amicably but the parents of the victim insisted on getting justice.
It was gathered that the State Ministry of Women affairs, has waded into the matter to ensure that the incident is not swept under the carpet and to get justice for the victim who is currently hospitalised.
Confirming the development, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO),Mr. Femi Joseph, said the case had been transferred to the state police headquarters in Akure.
He said the command has commenced an investigation into the matter with a pledge to charge the suspect to court after completing the investigation.