A 10-year-old girl allegedly raped by a kiosk operator in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has lost the battle to stay alive in the hospital a few days after the incident. The girl had gone to buy sachet milk at a housing estate in Rumuibekwe area of Port Harcourt about 8p.m. when she was allegedly defiled by a man identified as Mallam Bashir, who owns the kiosk. Bashir was arrested and detained by the police. According to a relative of the deceased, the girl died in a private hospital in Port Harcourt after doctors battled for days to save her life.
Following the incident, the Rivers State chapter of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) and International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) have embarked on a campaign for Bashir not to be granted bail until he is tried.
The state chairperson of NAWOJ, Mrs. Lillian Okonkwo, alleged that friends and relatives of Bashir had been making efforts to get him out on bail. Okonkwo said that the police were initially reluctant to arrest Bashir until NAWOJ and FIDA mounted pressure on them. She said: “It is unfortunate that she died. But we are appealing that the bail being sought by the relatives of Bashir should not be granted.” Okonkwo also appealed to Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalebo Banigo-Harry, and the governor’s wife, Justice Suzette Wike, to intervene in the matter as women.