Police in Edo State have arraigned before an Evbuoriaria Magistrate’s Court a 70-year-old man, Francis Ezomo, and his two sons, for allegedly defiling his (Ezomo’s) nine-year-old granddaughter. The arraignment was sequel to the intervention of Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The three men are facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and defilement. Upon arrival in court, the minor, who is now under the custody of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, broke into tears on sighting her guardian and others docked.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Julie Olatunji, told the court that the minor had informed her headmistress how the accused defiled her several times after she was quizzed about her unusual gait. Olatunji said the case was thereafter reported by the Acting Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr. Joan Osa Oviawe, at the state Executive Council meeting, where Obaseki ordered a full-scale investigation into the matter, which led to the arraignment of the suspects.
The permanent secretary told the court that upon medical examination, the girl’s hymen was discovered to have been broken and infected and that she was currently undergoing treatment. The defendants pleaded not guilty. But counsel to Ozomo, the first accused, Simeon Atalor, however, applied for bail for the defendant, whom he said was ill and visuallyimpaired.
The court subsequently granted Ozomo bail in the sum of N100,000 with a surety in the like sum. But two of his sons, Nosa and Festus, were denied bail. The case was adjourned till April 19.