|14-year-old girl missing, suspected to have fled with 40-year-old lover.|
14-year-old Rosemary, who was on Monday, September 8, rescued by officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (MWAPA) from the apartment of her alleged lover, Chukwu Nkenna, 40, at Obelle Junction, Surulere, Lagos, has reportedly gone missing again.
According to Punch, the teenager from Plateau State, came to Lagos in January 2014 and had since been in the care of a non-governmental organisation interested in girl education, before she left in December 2014, due to financial challenges.
The teenager was said to have met Nkenna in the Surulere around January 2015 and moved in with him. The Surulere Police Division had on Friday, August 21, arrested Nkenna after neighbours filed a report alleging he was sexually abusing the teenager. The matter has since been transferred to the State Department of Criminal Investigation (SDCI), Yaba, on Monday, August 24.
Subsequently, the police at SDCI reportedly released Nkenna while the victim was asked to seek medical attention. Rosemary, afterwards, went back to continue living with her lover and the matter was said to have also been brought to the attention of MWAPA, which sent its officials to take the girl from the suspect’s house on September 8.
The agency reportedly billed the 14-year-old to go to a government rehabilitation centre, but she opted to stay in the Agege area with her uncle. However, on September 13, Rosemary reportedly sneaked out of her uncle’s apartment in Agege, and had since not been found Efforts to find Rosemary have proved abortive.
Following the search, Nkenna’s apartment in Surulere was allegedly raided but she was not found. Nkenna was also said to have travelled out of Lagos State, and was unavailable for comment.
Rosemary’s uncle, who identified himself as Benjamin, said, "When Nkenna was initially arrested by the police and taken to SDCI, the police failed to follow up the matter. They released him, and said we should allow the girl to marry the man since they were both lovers. I was not happy with the way they treated that case. When they asked the two of them to go home, she returned to Nkenna’s house until she was taken from the apartment by government officials.
Days later, she fled, and since that time, we have been looking for her. She called one of my brothers two days ago, but she did not tell us where she was staying. We assumed she was with the suspect. We do not have Nkenna’s number. So, we cannot reach him." Benjamin added that Nkenna must have given his niece love potion and appealed to the the state government to rearrest him.
"There was a time that Nkenna called the family with Rosemary’s number, and we asked him to show up, but he refused. We are still looking for her." An unnamed official of MWAPA in Alausa, confirmed that the ministry was handling the case, adding that the director of the Child Protection Unit was unavailable for comment.
"The case was reported to the unit by an NGO, and we are working on it. The director is not around to talk on it," the official said The Police Public Relations Officer, (PPRO) Joe Offor, said investigation was ongoing on the matter. He said the case was at the SDCI, and that they are investigating alleged rape.
"The police do not get involved in cases of relationships and marriages. If the girl is a minor, the police know she cannot give a valid consent. However, the girl’s family should find out where their daughter is and let the police know so we can assist in recovering her. Offor said. "If the suspect is given an administrative bail, he will come back on the day he is asked to report. If he does not show up, then we know what to do" he added.
Source : Punch