Recently, The Metro Lawyer (TML) shared a story by Nicholas Uweronye of the Independent Nigeria about a lawyer, Ochiagha Chuks Onyemobi who assaulted a minor who is his house help, and unlawfully had carnal knowledge of her. Read here
It is gathered that after the girl, 17 year old Esther Monday, filed a report of the matter to the police through her guardian, Phillip Tordue who is also her brother-in-law, Onyemobi has been arrested and is cooling his heels at the Gwarimpa Police Station in Abuja.
However, the girl’s guardian Mr Tordue, has revealed that there is mounting pressure from some police officers sympathetic to Onyemobi’s case, on them to settle the matter out of court.
“They began by telling me that I can’t win the case against Onyemobi because he is a ‘big’ man. Then on Sunday, I was approached by a male police officer saying that he had been authorised by the lawyer to negotiate settlement on the matter,” Tordue told INDEPENDENT.
The family is not willing to settle the matter however, as they suspect Mr Onyemobi had been indulging in this act, even with Esther’s sister who had worked in his house just before Esther came.
According to Mrs Tordue, Esther’s elder sister, “She is younger and quiet. She might have suffered similar fate in the hands of the lawyer and wouldn’t say because she is usually quiet and doesn’t complain.”
Until last Thursday, the victim had been working for Onyemobi as a housekeeper, cleaning and watering his gardens at his Sahara Estate home.
According to the report, she had to work for the lawyer because, according to the guardian, Onyemobi had refused to let go a former staff in his household called Annabel, the victim’s relative, who had taken permission to travel back to Kafanchan, Kaduna State, for the yuletide. Onyemobi was owing Annabel N50,000, being her salary for the last five months, before she left.
Tordue and his wife, not wanting to forfeit the money, had then taken the victim to Onyemobi. Though the lawyer, as at Friday when his travails began, was still owing Annabel, the victim had continued to work for him, with the family hoping that he would redeem his obligation to Annabel and also pay Esther’s salary.
Going by the interest already gathered by the incident, how the police and the court, if the matter eventually gets there, will settle the allegations may go a long way in showing the seriousness of law enforcers on rape-related cases in the country.