Make A Difference Initiative (MAD) has decried the abuse of authority by the Nigerian Police with regards to negotiating an out-of-court settlement on behalf of paedophiles with family of child victims of their dastardly acts.
MAD was particularly miffed by reports at the weekend which disclosed that a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), Rufina Ukadike had released an alleged paedophile, Chief Shedrack N. Ejinwa from police custody upon a negotiated settlement with the father of the 14 year girl he allegedly raped.
The initiative noted that “defilement or any sort of sexual abuse is NOT a civil matter, but a criminal matter and therefore no police officer has the authority to negotiate or allow a negotiated settlement.”
In a statement issued by the Communication and Advocacy Director of MAD, Lemmy Ughegbe, he said the police lack the legal authority to midwife an out of court settlement over any criminal act, including rape or defilement.
“Paedophilia is a crime against the state. The duty of the police is to investigate and where it has evidence of the commission of that crime, it should be charged to court, Ughegbe stated.
He explained that “once paedophilia or child sexual abuse is established against anyone, only the Attorney General of States or Federation has the power to decide whether or not to proceed with a case.”
He called on the Inspector General of Police to order the immediate re-arrest of Chief Ejinwa to stand trial over the crime against the state, pointing out that the document of settlement was an admission to the commission of that crime by him.
He also asked that CSP Ukadike be probed for releasing a man who has committed a crime of paedophilia against the state “in excess of his power.”
“As a senior police officer in the rank of a CSP, he knows he has no power to release a suspected paedophile”, Ughegbe stated.
He also called on NAPTIP to investigate the victim’s father owing to his eagerness to get a pay off more than seek justice for brutal violation of his daughter.
“If no ulterior motive is behind the father’s interest in money, then NAPTIP public enlightenment should counsel him and help get psychotherapeutic help for the girl child to mitigate her trauma”, Ughegbe advised.