INTERSOS, a non-governmental aid organisation, has confirmed the involvement of one of its staff in the reported case of rape that led to the death of a teenager on Tuesday in Maiduguri.
The victim, Aishatu Muhammed Adamu was said to have committed suicide by using a knife to stab herself in utter rejection of her defilement.
The aid organisation said it was “saddened” by the behaviour of one of its Nigerian staff members “currently held in police custody in Maiduguri.”
“We are saddened to inform you that one of our Nigerian staff members is currently held in police custody in Maiduguri,” a statement signed by Enka’s Chau, INTERSOS Head of Mission, said.
The aid organisation said the raped victim who later took her life in utter bitterness over the abuse of her virginity, was a “woman”, even as multiple sources, including the police, had earlier confirmed that the victim was an underage girl.
INTERSOS’ Chau said the arrested staff ‘is accused of having committed rape and other violence connected with the death of a woman, as well as having caused a traffic accident leading to the injury of another person.
“The incident happened in Maiduguri town. Upon learning about this terrible incident, we have immediately suspended the staff, who was off duty and on vacation when the incident happened. As the investigation is ongoing, we will closely monitor the development and take appropriate actions accordingly.
“We express our deep sorrow to the families of the victims. At this moment we are focusing on gathering additional information, and providing the necessary assistance to the authorities,” Mr Chau said.
“INTERSOS has a zero-tolerance policy against any form of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV). Our recruitment process follows strict and detailed guidelines in compliance with the organization “Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse policy”, and its implementation is constantly followed up by a dedicated unit.
“We are also part of the Inter-Agency Scheme for the Disclosure of Safeguarding-related Misconduct in the Recruitment Process within the Humanitarian and Development Sector,” the INTERSOS head in Nigeria said.
INTERSOS added that it does not tolerate sexual and gender-based violence and asked people with information about the incident to send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This incident happened barely ten days after the Borno state government had last week signed the Violence Against Persons (VAP) and Child Protection bills into law. The new law provides stiffer punishments to sex offenders and most especially paedophiles.
Borno is the 13th state of Nigeria to locally adopt the Child Rights Act earlier passed by the National Assembly.