A 27-year old tricycle operator is currently in the police net for allegedly defiling a 10-year old girl in Use Offot, Uyo local government area of Akwa Ibom State.

Edet Sunday Edem who hails from Oku Iboku in Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom State allegedly committed the crime in his rented apartment at Use Offot, Uyo metropolis and thereafter, took the girl to Use Offot market square and abandoned her bleeding profusely there.

The girl (name withheld), was noticed by passers-by who rushed her to St Luke’s hospital, Anua for medical attention.

Miriam Daniels, member of Journalists Alliance against Gender Based Violence, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), who was among those who took the girl to the hospital, said she noticed the girl lying helplessly in the market square.

Moved by the victim’s pitiable state of health, Daniels insisted that she be taken to the suspect’s residence. On arriving there, she was confronted with a pool of blood in his apartment but met his absence.

It was gathered that the news of the incident had spread like wild fire, prompting youths in the community to launch a hunt for the culprit which led to his apprehension at his hometown in Oku Iboku where he had gone to hide in his pastor’s house.

Speaking in an interview, Fabian Ikpe, Youth Leader of Use Offot said the community was worried about such a heinous crime and had to search for the suspect adding that when he was found, he wanted to know whether he would be allowed to go scot-free. “We told him that he should cooperate with us but we took him to the police station,’’ he said.

Giving his statement at the Ewet Police station, the suspect who confessed to the crime said that apart from being a tricycle operator, he is a senior official of a church where he is serving as an elder adding that he dropped out of primary school. “Yes, I slept with her but when I noticed that she was bleeding, I erased the blood from the floor,’’ he said.

The senior police officer who took the statement from the suspect said he would be taken to court at the conclusion of investigation.

Meanwhile, the first lady of the state, Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel has stepped into the matter with a view of giving the girl adequate medical treatment whilst, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Glory Edet, has stated that at least, seven persons have been convicted of rape and defilement so far.