Police Parades Man For Impregnating 10 year old in Benue IDP camp.

Police Parades Man For Impregnating 10 year old in Benue IDP camp.

Benue State Police Command parades man who raped and impregnated 10-year-old girl in Benue state IDP.

The Benue State Police Command has paraded a man who impregnated a 10-year-old at an IDP camp in Benue state.

The suspect, 18-year-old Terna Taga, confessed that he was responsible for the girl’s pregnancy, adding that he "slept with her" twice and accepted that he was the newborn baby’s father.

“Yes, I slept with her twice in December last year. She consented to it; it wasn’t a rape,” Taga said of Miss Masenengen Targba, a 10-year-old Tiv girl from Guma Local Government Area.

The victim was delivered of a baby girl on the 4th of August, in Makurdi.

police parades man who impregnated 10 year old girl in Benue IDP camp

Miss Targba lost her father at the age of five and her young mother immediately remarried another man. An attempt by Miss Targba to live with her stepfather and mother did not work out. Instead, she was severely maltreated and unprotected.

Speaking on Miss Masenengen Targba, the state Commissioner of Police, Mukaddaa Garuba, said, “The victim, who is an orphan and living with her uncle, one Iorja, was allegedly raped by one Terna Taga, 18, of the North-Bank area of Makurdi.”

Investigation revealed that the uncle was making arrangements to marry her out to a blind old man when he discovered that she was pregnant. “The uncle is currently at large. The suspect will soon be charged to court.”

Also, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development has taken Miss Masenengen under their care and custody.

Can a child give consent?

According to Mr. Taga, he "slept with Masenengen" and "she consented to it."

However, a child cannot give informed consent. This is why the responsibility lies on the adult to avoid exploiting kids. As a child who was not living at home and begged for food, clearly, she was in a vulnerable position.

He has gone on to claim that the child wasn't a virgin when he raped her. This method of smearing the victim and presenting her as already "damaged goods" is a common ploy used by rapists to divert the attention from their cruel act.

Do we need to revisit the Nigerian laws on rape?

Under the Criminal Code and Child Right Act, the punishment for rape is life imprisonment. But under the Penal Code, it is a maximum of 14 years imprisonment. Attempted rape under the Criminal Code is 14 years imprisonment.

However, this punishment has not deterred rapists.

Whenever a rape case surfaces in Nigeria, it is followed by outrage. Our collective outrage, rightly, is what a monstrosity of this level deserves. But, when would our outrage translate to results?

Rape victims deserve swift justice. There should be more and convicted rape cases in Nigeria. Instead, victims who bravely speak out are often bullied into silence.

In some quarters across Nigeria, many have suggested harsher punishments like castration before execution.

What are your thoughts? Would a harsher punishment reduce the prevalence of rape cases in Nigeria?


Read Also: Man confesses to raping and killing 9 children: How do we keep our kids safe?

Source: Punch

Written by

Lydia Ume