N10,000 only: Rape victim allegedly paid off to withdraw case

by Isi Esene

How much is your dignity worth? That was the question Blessing (surname withheld) answered yesterday at a Port Harcourt Senior Magistrate Court when she decided to accept N10, 000 instead of proceeding with the case before the court.

Blessing, who is a service girl at a local restaurant, was allegedly raped by Mr. Chukwunonso Eze, 27, who forced her into submission wielding a cutlass before gaining carnal knowledge of her.

Eze allegedly raped his victim­ July 5, at No. 9 Psychiatric Road, Rumuigbo, Port Harcourt.

The court allowed the bail on the ground of the application for withdrawal filed by the complainant. In it, she had stated her lack of interest to continue with the matter.

A copy of the application obtained by Nation Evening Express, which was signed by the illiterate victim,­ read in part:­ “My decision to withdraw my case against the accused is borne out of wide consultations and compromises between me and the accused who has shown considerable remorse for his actions and as such I believe that it is unnecessary to continue with this case.

Yes, ‘considerable remorse’ indeed.

The statement continued: “In the circumstance, I crave the indulgence of your worship to oblige my request and quash the said charges against the accused and strike of the suit”.

Although the trial senior magistrate, Mrs. U.V. Erekosima, had earlier told the accused person that she had no powers to hear the case against the suspect, since the victim does not want to continue with the case, she however granted him bail in the sum of N100,000­ following the drama.­

According to the Nation Evening Express, the victim was given N10, 000 out of the N30, 000 allegedly agreed on her behalf by the restaurant owner where she’s employed.

The defense counsel had earlier urged the court to quash and strike out the case on the ground that the victim had indicated her desire not to proceed ­with the case­ in­ her application for withdrawal.

On the strength of the victim’s submission, the prosecution, led by Inspector Goodluck Adoe, did not raise any objections to the application of the lawyer.

He, however, appealed to the court to caution the accused person to change his ways.

The case was subsequently adjourned to July 3 for mention.

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