By Jethro Ibileke
A 70-year-old man, John Eseigbe, has been arrested in Benin, Edo State for allegedly defiling a 14-year-old girl (name withheld).
The Commissioner for Social Development and Gender Issues, Mrs Maria Edeko, disclosed this in a chat with journalists in Benin City.
She said the 14-year-old girl iwas currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital.
Edeko noted that the investigation was part of efforts by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration to ensure child molestation, rape and defilement were drastically reduced in the state.
She, however, disclosed that the girl’s health condition was getting stable.
According to her, “Governor Godwin Obaseki has said no child under his watch will be defiled, raped or molested. He is determined to ensure that the right of every girl-child in Edo State is protected.
“The issue of child defilement for Obaseki is a serious issue and culprits must be punished for their crimes. We are talking about the 14-year-old girl today. We will not turn a blind eye to such crime as offenders should be ready to go jail.”
The septuagenarian, however, denied the allegation.
He alleged that the girl, who lives with his family, stole from him and was sent packing by his wife.
He added that the parents of the girl are friends to his family, adding that he could not have jeopardised the long-standing relationship that exists between both families.