The travails facing the parents of eight months old, Khadija, who was raped by a close confidant persists, as medical experts diagnose her with Recto Viginal Fistula disease. Her biological mother has bagged three months jail term for negligence, while the father of the rape victim is under the yoke of medical bills. ABDULGAFAR OLADIMEJI writes.
A medical doctor at the state government owned, Muritala Muhammad Specialist hospital who craved for anonymity, corroborated that, eight months old, Khadija, who was defiled while she was six months old, is now tainted with Recto Viginal Fistula disease.
The mother of the rape victim, named Mariam Kabiru, aged 18, incurred the wrath of a Kano Chief Magistrate Court for failing to discharge her motherly responsibilities. The court sentenced her to three months in jail, for exposing Khadija to danger, an act that led to her defilement by an intimate friend.
This is as the wife of the president, Mrs Aisha Buhari condemned the dastardly act. According to a statement by the Director, Information to the Wife of the President, Suleiman Haruna, Mrs Buhari “sees this new trend of rape as an affront on the religious and cultural values of our people which must be treated as such.”
She appealed to all those concerned in handling the case to ensure that baby Khadijah and her parents get justice.
Khadija’s father, Bashir D. Adam, who reported the matter to the Nigerian Police, Fagge division, Kano State Command, has not relented in the pursuit for justice, and is overwhelmed with the challenge of offsetting the medical bills incurred. He complained that despite the huge amount invested on medication, it is his observation, that the legs of the victim have been negatively affected, noting that, the legs were shrinking.
Adam could not conceal his psychological devastation arising from the degenerating health status of the six months old and the slow pace of the wrath of the law in catching with the suspected perpetrators of the ungodly act. He said, “in the past three months, this baby has been through hell, she has undergone surgery as a result of her devastated health condition, she gushes out both stool, blood, urine and fluid at the same time through her vagina.”
“Khadija no longer sleeps, but cries all the time, her mother and myself too hardly sleep, I am the sole provider of her medical bills with little assistance from people.” He added that the drugs been administered to her were those he could afford as against the actual recommended medications.
He alleged to have come under incessant threats from anonymous callers urging him to terminate the court case against those alleged to be behind the nefarious act against his daughter.
The police dragged a 30-year-old man, Muktakar Muhammad, a resident of Fagge quarters, before a Kano chief magistrate court over the alleged defilement of the six months old baby girl.
Police prosecutor, Inspector Shaibu Musa informed the court that, the incident occurred, after the accused person, on February 3rd, acting in connivance with his wife, Zainab Muktakar, 22 years old, carried out the alleged ungodly act.
He said the incident was reported to the police by the biological father of the victim, one Bashir Dabo, a resident of Kurna quarters, noting that, the police conveyed the victim to Muritala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, medical investigations revealed that the private part of the six months old child has been ruptured.
The mother of the victim, Mariam Kabiru, 18 years old, said she handed over her daughter to the accused person for nursing, “she is my friend, I visited Fagge on the day in question, and as a friend, I gave her my child so that I could run to a house in the neighborhood to pay my debt to another neighbor.”
“Later, that night, I discovered that the vagina of my child had taken a funny shape and the baby was in pains, we reported to the police and were taken to the hospital where I was told that my child had been raped.”
Muktakar, responding to the allegation against him, stated that he was not at home when the child was handed into the custody of his wife, “on my way back home, from work, that was when I met her carrying the child, on their way back to their home, and we exchanged pleasantries, that was all” he said.
Muktakar’s 22-year-old wife, who is standing trial alongside with him, in her response to the content of the charge sheet, said, “ she usually drops the baby with me for days, I don’t know where she usually goes. All that she has said against my husband and I are not true.”
Inspector Shaibu Musa pointed out that the couple committed the offences of criminal conspiracy and rape, contrary to the provisions of section, 97 and 283 of the Penal Code Law.
The accused husband and wife, through their counsel, Barrister A S. Muhammad, applied to the court to release them on bail, citing the provisions of section 36 of the 1999 constitution as amended, he further referred the court to section 341 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The prosecution objected to the application for bail, hinging the vehement objection on the argument that the court lacks the jurisdiction to preside over the matter.
Chief Magistrate, Mariam Sabo in her ruling, described the matter as “serious in nature,” she refused the application for bail, ordering that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody. The duo are expected back in court, on July 6.
The court further ordered for further investigation to be conducted to unravel the contributory role played by Mariam Kabiuru, mother of the victim in the saga.
The police arraigned 18-year-old, Mariam Kabiru on a two-count charge of negligence conduct and causing danger to person or property.
The prosecution told the court that, Mariam handled Khadija in a manner contravening section 196 of the penal code law.
Khadija’ s mother stated that, the allegation against her, accusing her of failing to discharge her motherly role and for exposing her six months old daughter to danger were true, she pleaded with the court for leniency.
The mother of the victim was sentenced to three months in jail for acting negligently, resulting into the alleged rape of her six months old daughter. The court though, offered her the option of paying N10.000.00 fine or proceed to serve three months jail term.
The travails starring the parents of the victim in the face include pursuing the cause of justice, which is time consuming and requires adequate funding.
Checks by our LEADERSHIP correspondent revealed that the accused persons alleged to have planned and defiled the six months old girl, are yet to be arraigned before a court with inherent competent jurisdiction, a process that involves bulk paper work that requires funding, which the parents of the victim cannot shoulder due to unending medical bill and provision of other basic needs for the victim.
The channel to ensure justice for the victim and those accused is in jeopardy, as the case diary is yet to be sent to the office of the director, Public Prosecution, Kano State ministry of Justice, for legal advice. This forms part of the travails, as Adam does not hide his apprehension that justice may elude, saying his lust is seeing that justice is served, as soon as possible.
The deputy registrar, attached to the office of the director, Public Prosecution, Kano State ministry of Justice, Lawan Yaro Hassan said he is in doubt if the matter has been forwarded to the office of the DPP for legal advice. He suggested that this reporter should contact the police and obtain the reference number on the referral missive before his office could ascertain if the matter had been forwarded to obtain legal advice from the DPP.
The police officer who investigated the matter, declined to comment, citing subjudice and pointing out that the police has a channel of communication, arguing that he is not authorised to speak.
The police spokesman, DSP Magaji Musa Majia, in a chat with our correspondent, denounced any laxity on the part of police, he said the command views and treats rape related cases as serious in nature, he vowed to furnish this reporter with all details concerning the matter.
Majia said, the command does not compromise in making sure the cause of justice is served, noting that, rape is a non-compoundable offence, the command discharges its part of the duty to pursue the interest of justice, on what is seen to have been done.