From Noah Ebije, Kaduna

A father of a 16-year-old girl has demanded justice against a gang of four men who allegedly raped his daughter (Name withheld) in Kashikoko village of Lavun local government area of Niger State.

The father of the victim, Mallam Ibrahim Anfani in a statement disclosed that his daughter was violently raped by the suspects in April when she was trying to fetch firewood from the nearby bush.

Afani specifically appealed to the Emirate Council in Lavun local government to intervene in the matter in order to obtain justice against the rapists, warning that on no account should any official of the Emirate take a side with the suspects, no matter how influential they are in the area.

According to the embattled father, his daughter was beaten, pushed to the ground and brutally raped by two of the men while another two held her hands and legs.

“In the process, she was severely injured and traumatized to the extent that she had to be hospitalized at the Federal Medical Centre, Bida, Niger State.

“And in my efforts to get justice, I reported the case to the police but the police referred me to the local court and the four men were arrested.

“The four suspected serial rapists are Ladan Yanegi Kashikoko, Alhaji Isah Kudu Kachikoko, Kabiru Yatwuya and Alhaji Nasiru Kashikoko.

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“Even though the case was further referred to the Niger state police headquarters in Minna, the four suspected serial rapists have since been released.

“Two of the suspected rapists were released on bail after paying the sum of 1.6 million naira while one of the suspects was left in jail until he was released recently”. The statement said.

Anfani further lamented that at the release of the two serial rapists, one of the suspects boasted that even if he is taken to court he will be released and set free because he is supported by an influential man in Bida emirate.

“To my chagrin, the four suspected rapists have since been released on bail and all efforts to get these men charged for rape are being swept under the carpet.

“My daughter is no longer the calm, happy person I used to know. Instead, she is now fearful, withdrawn and mostly afraid to come out of the house.

“This is not the first time that these four men have brutally raped women and have gone scot-free. Two other girls had previously fallen victim to these serial rapists and when the fathers of these girls took the case to the police, they were bribed into silence but for me, I would not accept any compensation except the suspect is charged to court.

“I am however pleading for help from the entire public, and calling for justice to be served because no one would be happy to see the four men who violated his daughter still walking the streets free men,” Anfani said in a statement.