IGFor allegedly raping a 10-year-old girl, three men were almost lynched, yesterday, at the Relief Market, Egbu Road, Owerri. Vanguard gathered that the accused, two Tiv-speaking persons from Benue State and an Igbo man, reportedly lured the young girl to a lonely part of the market where she was locked up in one of the shops directly behind the Dan Anyiam Stadium Complex, before they serially raped her until she became unconscious. Police said they arrested the three, as two had escaped before they arrived. It was gathered that the little girl, whose identity was still being withheld at press time, sold sachet water in the market before the incident. Confirming the story to Vanguard, an elder in the market, Mr. Paschal Nwoko, disclosed that the girl was rushed to an undisclosed hospital for medical attention, as soon as she was rescued. He could not confirm the girl’s state of health, but others chorused “she is in a bad shape,” saying as soon as people saw the sorry state of the girl, a mob descended on the rapists. A businessman told Vanguard: “The mob tore their clothes to shreds and beat them, before they were handed over to the police for further investigation.” Confirming the incident in a telephone chat, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Andrew Enwerem, said: “As soon as we received a distress call, we sent a patrol team to the market. “We were told on arrival that two out of the five suspects had escaped and we arrested the remaining three.” Answering a question on the state of the girl’s health, the PPRO said that she had been taken to a hospital, adding that “since it is an alleged rape case, only medical doctors are in a position to ascertain the truth through medical examination.”

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