4-yr-old girl’s defilement angers Pres

President  Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has expressed outrage at the defilement of a four-year-old girl at Assin Adadientem in the Central Region, and has ordered that justice be secured for the victim.

 

The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and the Majority Leader of Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu disclosed last Friday, after receiving a petition on behalf of Parliament from the Alliance for Women in Media Africa (AWMA), a campaign group demanding justice for the victim.

 

“In Cabinet, [last Thursday] the President was outraged and has directed the Minister for the Interior that everything possible, within the remits of the law, is done to secure justice for the girl,” he said.

 

The AWMA is on a campaign to have the alleged 18-year-old sex attacker prosecuted. The little girl was said to have been defiled by the teenager in a toilet facility.

 

According to the group, though the victim, (name withheld), was able to make out her attacker, the chief of the town and the Police Command in that area failed to ensure the alleged culprit was brought to justice.

 

In a petition signed by some leading female media practitioners, including Araba Koomson, Mercy Adjabeng and Shamima Muslim, among others, the group said the  state  must not “fail her (victim) and  the  many  others  suffering  in  pain  and  anger,” as a result of sexual attacks.

 

“A  week  after  the  incident,  the victim’s  father, Isaac  Kofi, reported the  matter  to  the  Assin  Fosu police.  However  the  police  are  yet  to apprehend  the  culprit  because they  claimed  the complainant  had  not returned  to  the  station  to  lead officers  to  effect  the  arrest, although  the  little  girl  had identified  the  perpetrator  who  is known  in  the  community,” the petition said.

 

Other reports also indicated that the chief of the area, whose name is not readily known, told the parents of the victim that nothing could be done because the community gods deemed the suspect innocent.

 

The AWMA is making seven demands of the authorities to ensure the four-year-old obtained justice, including an immediate arrest of the suspect and also demand that the state declared a “zero tolerance to defilement and rape.”

 

Other demands contained in the petition include a transfer  of the case  to  the National Police Headquarters  in  Accra  due to  the “lackadaisical  attitude  of  the Municipal  Police  Command  in handling  the  case.”

 

They also want the appointment of a special prosecutor to handle the case, immediate  medical  attention for  the  victim  in  Accra  by  the Social  Welfare  Department  and the  Ministry  of  Gender,  Children and  Social  Protection and a support  and  protection  scheme for the  mother  and  child,  who  may become  targets  of  families  and friends  of  the  alleged  suspect.

 

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu agreed with the group and said it was time state institutions were equipped to be efficient to deliver their mandate in a timely manner.

 

Speaking with journalists after presenting the petition, Mercy Adjabeng, a leading member of the AWMA said this case demonstrates how many victims of sex attacks never got justice, adding they were of the expectation that the intervention of the lawmakers would ensure that the alleged ‘criminal’ was brought to justice.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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