An Akwa Ibom State based human rights activist, Dr. Ime Stephen, has been abducted by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers few weeks after he exposed an Inspector of Police serving at Mkpat Enin Police Division, in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area of the state, for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl, Mary Udo, who happens to be Stephen’s niece.
Reports emanating from the state has it that Stephen, who is the Director General, Centre for International Integrity, Peace and Development in Nigeria, was abducted at his house on Tuesday, August 16, around 3am, by the masked gunmen, had been receiving threatening text messages and calls, urging him to back off the case after he vowed to do everything to get justice for the Senior Secondary School student of Community Secondary School, Iyadiong, in the local government.
The wife of the victim, Gloria, narrated that three of gunmen gained entrance into the house by breaking through the wall from the backyard, while others waited outside.
Gloria added that after the men entered their apartment, they locked her and her child in a room and whisked her husband away to an unknown destination.
“Three of the gunmen entered our apartment with their faces covered. They gained entrance by breaking the wall from the backyard.
They did not talk; they just pushed me, my son and a visitor into one room. One of the three gunmen stood at the door, threatening to shoot if we made a noise or shout.”
The reported rape of the teenage girl on July 22, 2016, it was gathered, had drawn up a lot of bad blood between the police and the community just as the Divisional Police Officer of the Mkpat Enin Division had allegedly sent some pastors to plead with Stephen to let the matter go.
But Dr. Stephen had reportedly insisted on getting to the root of the matter.
“This is a very serious thing; a police inspector raping a 15-year-old girl at gunpoint. This is more than robbery. He not only raped the girl, he kidnapped her for three days and collected a ransom of N10,000 as bail sum,” he had said.
Before the abduction of Stephen, he was also said to have escaped an assassination attempt on his life on August 13, at his home and had petitioned the State Police Commissioner, CP Muritala Mani, who promised to look into the matter.
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