NOPRIN Petitions PSC Over Rape Of Female Suspect By Police DPO In Onikan, Lagos

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NOPRIN, the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria, has petitioned the Chairman of the Police Service Commission over allegations of rape made against the DPO Adekunle Awe of the Onikan Police Station by a detainee, Miss Idowu Akinwunmi.

Miss Adewunmi, 31, made the complaint to NOPRIN on Wednesday, alleging that she was raped by Mr. Awe in his office on Tuesday.

Ms. Akinwunmi, who works at ‘Abua Mamaput & Bar,’ a makeshift restaurant in Ikoyi told NOPRIN officials  she was arrested by police officers attached to Onikan Police Station earlier on Tuesday at about 1a.m. at her work place over a complaint lodged against her by her employer, Mrs. Pelumi Idowu.

“She was detained in the Cell, and at about 10p.m., one Inspector Ajiduwe brought her to the office of the DPO where the DPO raped her.  She said that the DPO forcefully had canal knowledge of her without protection in his office,” NOPRIN said, adding that the DPO threatened to send Ms. Akinwunmi to prison if she mentioned the rape to anyone.

“It is shocking that a high ranking police officer of the position of a DPO could descend to such low level of raping a female suspect in his custody,” the complaint said.

Calling for a prompt, impartial and exhaustive investigation of the allegations to ascertain the truth and bring the DPO to account if found guilty, NOPRIN further told the commission of information available to it that while serving at Zone 2 headquarters and elsewhere, Mr. Awe was also involved in at least four other cases of rape which were covered up for him by his ‘godfathers’ in the police.

“Many victims of rape are often too ashamed and unwilling to report or seek redress,” the letter said.  “They live and die in silence from the trauma of sexual abuse and violence. Thus, perpetrators hide under the silence and enjoy impunity. This is why it is important that the scourge of rape by uniformed men is combated by ensuring full accountability so as to protect women and to reassure victims that they can get redress.”

It urged the commission to use the case involving DPO Awe to demonstrate its commitment to ensuring police discipline, accountability and respect for human rights, pointing out that bringing perpetrators to account will help curb the excesses of rapists in police uniform and end impunity for abuse.

NOPRIN is a network of 46 civil society organisations set up in 2000 to provide civil society input in the promotion of police accountability and respect for human rights.

Full text of the letter:

 

April 16, 2014

The Chairman
Police Service Commission
Federal Secretariat
Phase 1,
Shehu shagari Way,
Abuja.

Dear sir,

RE: RAPE OF A FEMALE DETAINEE (Miss  IDOWU AKINWUNMI) BY SP ADEKUNLE AWE, DPO, ONIKAN POLICE DIVISION.

Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) is a network of 46 civil society organisations spread across Nigeria and committed to promoting police accountability and respect for human rights. It was established in 2000 to provide opportunity for civil society input to police reform processes and the enhancement of safety, security and justice.

NOPRIN writes to bring to the attention of the Police Service Commission, the shocking information it received on April 16, 2014  from 31 year-old  Miss  IDOWU AKINWUNMI that SP ADEKUNLE AWE, DPO, ONIKAN POLICE DIVISION raped her in his office on Tuesday, April 15,  2014.

The victim who informed NOPRIN that she works at ‘Abua Mamaput & Bar’ (makeshift restaurant) at 11, Keffi Road, Ikoyi said  she was arrested by police officers attached to ONIKAN POLICE DIVISION on Tuesday, April 15,  2014 around 1a.m. from her work place over a complaint lodged against her at the police station by her employer, one Mrs. PELUMI IDOWU.

She was detained in the Cell, and at about 10p.m., one Inspector Ajiduwe brought her to the office of the DPO where the  DPO raped her. She said that the DPO forcefully had canal knowledge of her without protection in his office.
The DPO later  threatened to send her to prison if she mentioned the rape to anyone.

She said she was released the next day after the IPO- one Inspr. Taiwo- extorted the sum of ten thousand naira from her. Now, she complains of severe stomach pains following the said sexual abuse by the DPO.

Although the DPO denied when NOPRIN inquired from him, he however, later called the man who stood surety for the victim to come and collect the ten thousand naira bribe for bail they extorted from her after raping her.

NOPRIN condemns the attempt by some police officers at Area Command, Lion Building to block the victim from lodging a complaint of the rape with the Area Commander and collecting a police report to go for medical examination.

NOPRIN commends ACP EDGAL IMOHIMID, AREA COMMANDER, LION BUILDING making sure  the victim had access to her after NOPRIN called him and drew his attention to the case and the attempt by some officers in his command to prevent the victim from lodging her complaint.

It is shocking that a high ranking  police officer of the position of a DPO could descend to such low level of raping a female suspect in his custody.

NOPRIN calls for a prompt, impartial and exhaustive investigation with a view to ascertaining the truth and bringing the DPO to account if found guilty.

NOPRIN also wishes to bring to the attention of the commission information it has received that this same DPO, while serving at Zone 2 headquarters and elsewhere, was involved in at least four other cases of rape which were covered up for him by his ‘godfathers’ in the police.

Many victims of rape are often too ashamed and unwilling to report or seek redress. They live and die in silence from the trauma of sexual abuse and violence. Thus, perpetrators hide under the silence and enjoy impunity. This is why it is important that the scourge of rape by uniformed  men is combated by ensuring full accountability so as to protect women and to reassure victims that they can get redress.

We call on the commission to use this case involving DPO SP ADEKUNLE AWE to demonstrate its commitment to ensuring police discipline, accountability and respect for human rights.

Bringing perpetrators  to account will help curb the excesses of rapists in police uniform and end impunity for abuse.

NOPRIN calls for on the commission to ensure appropriate sanctions for DPO SP ADEKUNLE AWE if found guilty of  bringing the Nigeria Police Force  to disrepute through such beastly and unbecoming conduct.

Yours sincerely,

 Okechukwu Nwanguma
National Coordinator

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