THERE is a new twist in the case of the four-year-old girl  whose mother alleged her 65-year-old lover raped in her residence while she was busy cooking, with the police stating the little girl was “indecently assaulted” and not raped.
Cross-River State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ozi Obeh Jimoh, had told NDV: “The case reported was defilement, but the investigations carried out did not prove defilement, but indecent assault because based on the medical report from Nigeria Police Hospital, carried out by competent and qualified doctors, there was no defilement. According to the medical report, there was no penetration.” New puzzle However, a fresh medical examination at the state-owned General Hospital, Mary Slessor Avenue, Calabar, has put a lie to the police medical examination conducted July 21, confirming that there was an act of rape on the little girl.
The new medical examination followed the intervention of the Ministry of Women Affairs, Calabar and pressure mounted by a non-governmental organization, Basic Rights Counsel Initiative. The health information, reference number, CRS/MH/GHC/ADM/VOL, dated August 8, headed, “To Whom It May Concern – Medical Report in respect of Re: (Names withheld by NDV) Sex, Female, Age, 4 years, Hospital No: 802618,” signed by Dr. Mfon Asuquo Asuquo for the Medical Superintendent, read: “Vaginal examination revealed absence of hymen. Please accord her necessary assistance.” According to the report: “The above named is a 4-year-old child presented in our facility two days ago with a three weeks history of recurring pain in the vagina as well as a fever of two days duration. She was said to have been raped by a 65-year-old man three weeks prior to presentation.”
The hymen is a membrane that surrounds or partially covers the external vaginal opening. It forms part of the vulva, or external genitalia, and is similar in structure to the vagina. Absence of hymen means the covering has been broken. While the presence of a hymen indicates virginity, the absence of a hymen does not necessarily prove a girl is not a virgin. Uncovered undertaking Findings by NDV, however, indicated that the suspect whisked to the village head after the incident admitted the transgression, signed an undertaking to that effect and promised to take proper care of both the victim and her mother in the presence of the village head and others, July 19.
The undertaking obtained by NDV read: “Statement and undertaking by (names withheld) Water Intake Road in LEMNA community of Ikot Effanga Mkpa on the case of rape of (names withheld). Having accepted the incident above, I (names withheld) hereby undertake the following: I will undertake for the treatment of (names withheld ) in the hospital, that I will not abandon my wife, my son and my stepdaughter (names withheld), who is the victim of rape by me.” It further stated: “I will continue to provide for their shelter, food and clothing; I promise that these incidents will not occur again, that is the rape of my stepdaughter. This undertaking is written in the presence of the community leaders who handled the issue as signed by (names withheld).”
Nevertheless, the suspect, in a phone conversation with NDV, published in our last edition, denied committing the crime, insisting that some people made false allegations against him to destroy his person. Following our report, the police have finally charged the suspect to the court, though the Commissioner of Police said the delay was because the Police wanted to tie up some loose ends. NGO disappointed, demands fresh investigation
However, the Executive Secretary of Basic Rights Counsel Initiative, Barr James Ibor, said the organization wrote a petition to the Attorney General of the state asking for his urgent intervention and necessary action because there were conflicting sides to the matter. He said: “With the support of the Ministry of Women Affairs, the girl was taken to the General Hospital, Calabar, she was re examined and they said that her hymen was broken. Because of the obvious conflicting evidence and contradiction, having reviewed the matter, we are of the opinion of that the matter was not ripe for the court because the matter was not properly investigated. “In fact, the matter was shabbily investigated, we want all those who have had contact with the girl to be re-investigated.“ Ibor, who said the incident, which occurred July 17, read June 17 in the case that the magistrate has declined jurisdiction, adding: “We are calling for an entire review of the whole process because of the community leaders who told us that the suspect made an extra judicial statement confessing to the crime.
But the police are saying there was no confession from the man.” Suspect remanded, gets bail Contacted, the village head of Ikot Effanga Mkpa, Chief Richard Otu, promised to give his own side of the story, but later declined. Meanwhile, the suspect remanded at Afokang Prison, penultimate Monday, on the orders of the court later met his bail conditions and was released.

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