For allegedly raping his 11 years old housemaid, Anurika Ngwakwe, which led to her death, the Abia State Government has placed Christian Onuoha, a Director of Administration at the State Ministry of Petroleum and Solid Mineral, on interdiction pending the determination of his case by the police and the court.
However, the state Governor, Theodore Orji, has directed the immediate removal of Onuoha from the Board of the Abia State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ASOPADEC), as a Commissioner representing the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Solid Mineral Resources Development in the board.
Briefing newsmen at Government House, Umuahia, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Dr. ACB Agbazuere, said that giving the heinous nature of the alleged crime of rape of a minor and murder, Onuoha has also been placed on sanction.
The Commissioner said the state Civil Service Commission has also been directed to take necessary action as the case moves on.
He made it clear that Onuoha is only a civil servant representing the Ministry of Petroleum in the Board of ASOPADEC and not a commissioner in the state government.
The Information Commissioner, who stated that Section 358 of the Criminal Code of Nigeria is explicit on the issue of rape, also revealed that the punishment for rape is life imprisonment, adding that since the victim is dead, the issue of murder comes in and the penalty for such offence is death by hanging.
Speaking to Daily Independent, the Assistant Secretary of the state Chapter of Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA), Florence Egwuonwu, said the association would follow up the case to ensure that justice is not trampled upon.
“We would want a situation whereby justice would not be trampled upon, wherever anything happens, this is inhumanity to man, the objective of FIDA is to ensure that the rights of widows and that of children are protected. We are talking about the defilement of 11 years old girl; this is basically what we stand against,” she stated.
Egwuonwu said the association would insist that autopsy is carried out on the late Ngwakwe’s corpse to determine what may have led to her death.
“Even the national body of the association will be involved in this matter, even as prosecution is going on; we will monitor what is happening; we were not there when the incident happened but an autopsy will determine what led to the death of the girl,” Egwunwu said.
The father of the deceased, Mr. Chineye Ngwakwe, said he had handed over his daughter to Onuoha who came to his Owoaghafor community in Obingwa Local Government council of the state in company of his wife, Precious, on January 2, 2015.
Ngwakwe who works as a chief security guard at the State Ministry of Finance is demanding for justice.
“I was at my work post at about 5.30 a.m. when Onuoha’s wife asked me to come down to their residence at the World Bank Housing Estate that my daughter was unconscious and that they would want to see me.
“On getting to their house, I met Onuoha’s wife and I asked after my daughter, who is the last child in the family of six and she told me that the husband has taken her to a private hospital in Umuahia.
“Onuoha claimed that my daughter may have been epileptic. Please let them tell me what they have used my daughter for that she should be bleeding from all parts of her body,”he said.
Reacting to the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Geoffrey Ogbonna, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), confirmed the arrest of the suspect, saying that police were looking beyond the case of rape.