Five teenagers who were accused of raping an eight-year-old girl on Adepeju street, in the Bariga area of ​​Lagos state in November 2022, have been taken into custody by a Yaba magistrates court.

According to the victim’s father, Abel Asuquo, the case was adjourned until February 10, 2023.

PUNCH Subway had previously reported that the grade four student was desecrated at different times by her teenage neighbors.

The police reportedly arrested the suspects, but later released them without charge.

The victim’s father told our correspondent that after the report, the police re-arrested the suspects and put them on trial.

He said a magistrate ordered one of the 18-year-old suspects, identified as Lateef, to be detained at the Ikoyi Custody Center, while the others, Ebube, Ade, Sherif and Kamal, were sent to a youth center in the ogun state.

However, Asuquo said that the investigating police officer at the Bariga police station asked him to provide a vehicle to transport the defendants to the pre-trial detention centers.

He said, “We went to court on Friday, thanks to the report from the PUNCH newspapers because after that report, the Bariga policemen had no choice but to charge the children in court after PUNCH revealed the matter to the world.

“The parents of one of the children used their car to take all the suspects to the magistrates court in Yaba and after all, the magistrate recommended that Lateef, the eldest of them, be detained at the Ikoyi Custody Centre.

“The magistrate also recommended that the others, who are under the age of 18, be sent to a correctional facility in Ogun State, although I do not know the location. Meanwhile, in all this, the Bariga police told me to provide them with a vehicle to take the suspects to the Ikoyi center and the juvenile center in Ogun state.”

The founder of a non-governmental organization, the Esther Child Foundation, Esther Ekwem, praised PUNCH Newspapers for helping to scale.

She said, “If not PUNCH Newspapers reported on this matter, the Bariga police were not ready to do anything about it. The suspects would have been walking free instead of being in correctional and juvenile facilities.”

A lawyer, Todimu Ige, said it was wrong for crime victims to pay police to do their job.

He said: “As the magistrate ordered one of the suspects to be detained at the Ikoyi Custody Center, the court clerk should have arranged for that to be done.

“It is no longer a matter for the police because they have taken the suspects to court and they (the police) have done their job.”