A policewoman, Sgt. Patience Chukwuede on Tuesday told an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, Lagos, how a caterer, Ope Popoola, 23, allegedly defiled a seven-year-old girl in a commercial tricycle.
Chukwuede, attached to the Lion Building Police Station, is the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) in the case.
She made the revelation while being led in evidence by Ms A. R Abolade during the trial of Popoola over the alleged defilement.
The IPO said that at 8.50pm on May 29, 2016 the child’s father came to lodge a complaint of sexual assault against Popoola.
“The case was referred to me for investigation; the victim was given a medical referral paper to the Island Maternity Hospital for examination.
“The complainant said he sent his seven-year-old daughter on an errand to get the balance of change from where she went to buy pure water.
“On her way, Ope Popoola saw the girl, took her into a parked commercial tricycle also known as ‘Keke Marwa’ and put his fingers into her vagina.
“A man unknown to them saw them inside the ‘Keke Marwa’ and approached the defendant and the child took them all to the church where her father was waiting for her.
“The man told her father he saw the girl and Ope in the parked Keke Marwa, he asked the girl what they were doing at that time of the day and she said Ope was putting his fingers in her private part,” Chukwuede said.
The policewoman said that while interrogating the child, she told her that when Ope accosted her, he had asked her where she was going when she told him, he told her that he wanted to buy something from her.
“He then grabbed her, took her to the parked Keke Marwa and started using his fingers to touch her private part,” the IPO said.
Chukwuede said that as part of her investigation, she went to the scene of the crime but the parked commercial tricycle was no longer there.
“I also made efforts to contact the man who had flashed his torch at them and caught the defendant in the act but my efforts proved abortive.
“I was told he does not live in the area, he was just a passerby,” she said.
While being cross-examined by the defence counsel, Mr T. K Adeyiola, the IPO revealed that Popoola had admitted that he defiled the minor.
“He confessed to touching the child, he said so himself. It is in his confessional statement,” she said.
Justice Sybil Nwaka adjourned the case until June 18 for continuation of trial. (NAN)