Abuja court discharges 40-year-old man accused of raping 6-year-old girl

A high court in Abuja has discharged a 40-year-old man who had been faced with accusations of the sexual assault of a six-year-old girl.

According to reports, the court acquitted Sunday Ogbonna, a resident of Jabi, Abuja, who had been arraigned on 13 February for allegedly raping a minor.

Ogbonna had been accused of luring the girl to a secret place at the Jabi Motor Park on 31 November and forcibly having sex with the girl, six years old at the time of the alleged attack.

However, Justice Abubakar Talba, the trial judge presiding over the case, threw it out of court today, saying there was insufficient evidence with which to find the accused guilty.

Delivering the judgement, the trial judge said there were inconsistencies in evidentiary statements given by prosecution witnesses.

Talba said the prosecution witnesses contradicted themselves and their testimonies proved unreliable as a result.

He further noted that the prosecution had failed to meet its burden of proof or provide any medical evidence in the case.

“Consequent upon the above findings, I hereby discharge and acquit the accused,” he said.

“Sperm hunters” prowl Zimbabwe highways in search of hitchhikers

They have been called the “sperm hunters”, a gang of beautiful women in Zimbabwe that travel the streets of Zimbabwe, having sex with unsuspecting, albeit willing men, and harvesting their condoms full of sperm.

News of the promiscuous crew has sparked fears of taboo rituals in Zimbabwe, where the men are preyed upon, drugged, lured and sometimes threatened into repeated bouts of sexual intercourse before they are dumped by the roadside.

“Now, men fear women. They said: ‘we can’t go with you because we don’t trust you’,” 19-year-old Susan Dhliwayo recounted in a Zimbabwe Times article.
The sperm is reportedly used in good luck “ju-ju” rituals.

In one recorded case of sperm hunting, the Nhokwara sisters and one of their boyfriends were charged with the bizarre crime of attacking male hitchhikers and harvesting their sperm for ritual purposes.

The sperm-hunting crew were exposed when they got into a car accident and 30 used condoms were found in their car boot.

The group is facing a 17-count charge of aggravated incident assault even though a woman raping a man is not considered a criminal offence in Zimbabwe.

In their defence, the women denied allegations that they were sperm hunters, claiming instead that they were simply hard-working prostitutes.

Whatever the reason, the men of Zimbabwe are wary. One woman told the Agence France Presse that she had recently pulled over to assist male hitchhikers who refused to enter her car for fear of being raped.

Semen has become a lucrative commodity in Zimbabwe, University of Zimbabwe sociologist, Watch Ruparanganda said, adding that now businessmen furnish street youth with a hotel room, booze and prostitutes and asked to hand over the used condom after the fact.

The rituals could be for anything from enhancing good fortune, boosting business or protecting criminals from police detection.

The Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association slams the practice.

“We believe that this is a form of witchcraft. So we are totally against the idea,” said spokesman George Kandiyero.

“It has really frightened people,” he said. “It has really brought in a bit of shock because normally it was the other way round, normally we know of men raping women, not women raping men.”

“We do not have the exact number of confirmed cases,” said national police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena of the phenomenon that was first publicised in 2009.

“These cases occurred mostly when the victims were hitchhiking and boarded private vehicles. We encourage people to use public transport.”

Nine year old pupil tells court how her teacher raped her

Nine year old pupil tells court how her teacher raped herA nine-year-old pupil of Sunshine Nursery and Primary School, Ile-Ife, Osun State, has narrated before a High Court sitting in Ife how she was allegedly raped by her teacher, Francis Ijiwande.

At the hearing on Friday, the pupil said that Mr Ijiwande raped her in 2010.

She said that the teacher accosted her when she was urinating behind her classroom and subsequently raped her on the school premises – after the school hours.

The pupil told the court that, “Mr Ijiwande was my teacher in primary four. I was in primary five when he raped me. When I was urinating behind the classroom, I saw uncle (Mr Ijiwande) standing at my front.

“As I was urinating, uncle pushed me down. He removed my pant and threw it away. I shouted for help but no one came to my rescue. Uncle removed his trousers and boxer. He then lay on me and removed his private part and put it inside my private part.

“I felt the pains in my thigh and back when uncle was on me. Uncle did not stay long on me. I also felt the pains after uncle stood up. I managed to stand up and stay with my younger brothers, who were waiting for my father at the front of my school.”

When asked if she told her parents her ordeal, the victim replied, “I did not tell my parents because Uncle Ijiwande threatened to kill me. I only complained of back and thigh pains. My parents gave me Paracetamol, (a pain reliever), but the pains persisted.”

She explained that her mother discovered the fate that had befallen her four days later when the pains did not subside, adding that she was subsequently taken to a hospital.

The victim said, “My mother called me in the evening and ordered me to remove my pant. She discovered something like mucus and clotted blood at my private part. My mother shouted and she started crying. My father woke and we all prayed together and we went to sleep.

“The day, my parents took me to a hospital. A doctor conducted a test on me. We later went to a police station where I made statement on what Uncle Ijiwande did to me and he was arrested.

“Two policemen followed me to where uncle raped me. My parents and Aunty Bisi, the proprietress of the school, also followed us. Aunty Bisi called me aside and told me not to mention uncle Ijiwande’s name again. She told me the police would kill him and that I would not see him again.”

Testifying before the court, a Professor of Gynecology, Orji Okechukwu, who conducted a test on the victim, confirmed that the pupil was actually raped.

Mr Okechukwu accused the police of lack of diligent prosecution, saying they failed to conduct a test on the girl and the accused when the matter was reported.

The gynaecologist said he refused to release the result of the test he conducted on the victim and the specimen he took, alleging that the police thereafter began to threaten him.

However, the prosecuting counsel, Moses Faremi, prayed the court to adjourn the case for further hearing, saying he was not healthy.

The Presiding Judge Justice O. Siyanbola granted Mr Faremi’s prayer and adjourned the matter till April 18, 2012, for further hearing.