A middle-aged man who allegedly raped a niqobite (Muslim woman in veil) in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, has been apprehended.
Identified simply as Idris and popularly known as Kesari, he is a son of one of the leaders of the Oyo State Park Management System (PMS), popularly called Al-Majiri.
The ugly incident reported earlier in a viral video to have happened in a mosque two days ago saddened the Muslim populace and well-meaning members of the general public.
Muslim News findings revealed that the suspect has since been handed over to the Nigerian Police, Testing Ground Division, Ibadan, as case would be transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
How he was arrested
Speaking with our correspondent on Monday, Comrade Ayobami Shakrullah of Veteran Organisation for Human Rights said the culprit was arrested on Sunday, with the support of some concerned Muslims in the community,
Thug rapes Niqobite in Mosque
An unfortunate incident happened on Sunday in Ibadan, Oyo, when the son of a road transport union sneaked into a #mosque and raped a #niqobite. Some concerned #Muslims led by Sheikh Amubieya held a peaceful walk, demanding #justice for the victim. pic.twitter.com/16UFirqf4Q
— Muslim News Nigeria (@muslimnews_NG) January 30, 2023
He said: “The father used his influence as a transport union leader to mobilise thugs in order to escape the accused person. He came with some union gangs. They wanted to intimidate us but we resisted.
“The Muslim clerics also mobilised their followers to the scene. We overcame them and eventually they ran away. That gave us the opportunity to arrest the suspect and take him to the police station, testing ground division.
“As at this evening, we are planning to transfer the case to the State CID because the case is beyond the division”, he noted.
The human rights organisation leader said since the incident happened, he and members of his group have been receiving threatening calls from some faceless people, adding that, “We don’t care what they would do. We will follow up the case until justice is done.”
Police confirms arrest
Meanwhile, the spokesman of the state police command, Adewale Osifeso confirmed the incident via a text message to Muslim News, saying, “The matter is under investigation at the moment. Updates would be provided accordingly, please”.
What really happened
Recall that a popular Ibadan-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Sulayman Amubieya first raised the alarm in a live video on Facebook.
In the video, with the caption “thug rapes a female Muslim in the mosque”, the revered Muslim scholar led a peaceful walk with tens of his followers, among them were niqobites, to the police station, to demand justice for the victim.
Rapist of niqobite in Ibadan arrested
The thug who raped a #niqobite (#Muslim lady in veil) has been identified as Idris, also known as Kesari. He is the son of a union leader known as Al-Majiri. He was arrested by the police & the case has now been transferred to the State CID. pic.twitter.com/D25PQCnwI0
— Muslim News Nigeria (@muslimnews_NG) January 30, 2023
Addressing his followers on Sunday, he said: “The niqobite, while in the mosque, saw the suspect coming inside, and challenged him, saying, ‘what do you want?’ Before she could continue the interrogation, the culprit assaulted her, tore her cloth, hijab.
“The sister started crying. She was asked, why she was crying and she said the culprit committed the evil act against her in the mosque.
“The culprit was later arrested. The victim and another brother, who was hit with blow by the thugs over allegations that he was making a video, were later admitted to a hospital, after submitting written statements”, Sheikh Amubieya noted.
Where the incident happened?
In the video released by the respected Sheikh, the victim was said to have been raped in a mosque. But Muslim News’ findings, however, revealed that the culprit deceived the niqobite, lured her to a dark area to assault her.
Multiple witnesses who spoke to Muslim News said the victim saw Idris aka Kesari around the mosque and asked him for directions, but he led her to a secluded place in the night where he perpetrated the evil act.
According to one of the witnesses, “Actually, the incident occurred two days ago. As I was told by the victim and the accused person during interrogations, the woman in purdah asked for directions, because she doesn’t know her way around the place.
“The fellow assured her immediately that he knew where she was going and led her to a secluded area with the intention of raping her. Of course, it was in the night, after Ishai, maybe about 9 or 10pm.
“He attempted to perpetrate the evil act and she cried for help, so he tried to kill her. She had to give in to save her life,” he said.
Corroborating, another witness related; “She saw him around the mosque environment. She thought he was a Muslim and felt it was safe to ask him for directions. We got a distress call and went there yesterday.
“Actually, some people thought it happened in the mosque. I guess those people informed Sheikh Amubieya who also mentioned it in his video that the victim was raped in a mosque. It wasn’t inside mosque.
“Alhamdulillah, the sister was admitted to a hospital, with another brother, who was beaten by the thugs over allegation that he was recording the incident. While in the hospital bed, they wanted to seize his phone, but we resisted.
“We later discovered that the brother didn’t take pictures or videos after all. Both of them have been discharged from the hospital after receiving treatments,” the source said.
The brother, identified as Abdul Lateef, in a phone call with Muslim News, described the incident as unfortunate, saying that he has been discharged from the hospital since Sunday, but would never forget the ugly scenes anytime soon.
MPAC calls for swift prosecution of the perpetrator
In its reaction, Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) Nigeria condemned the ungodly act of the rapist, saying that the disrespect and brutal violation of the niqobite is intolerable.
In a press statement signed by its Executive Chairman, Mal. Disu Kamor, MPAC Nigeria said, “There is no way any society can tolerate violent abuse of women and blatant violation of decency. We therefore urge swift prosecution of the perpetrator of this heinous crime and the stiffest punishment possible.
Mal. Disu commended the State police at the promptness of action, noting “Nigerian law-enforcement agencies should not allow violent violation of women and the breach of the sanctity of the mosque go unpunished.
Speaking further, the Executive Chairman said, “Women have the right to live or worship without fear and in peace, without having their body and honour violated by predators. We call on the police authority to ensure that swift justice is served and the perpetrator of this unspeakable cruelty is punished as a rotten criminal that he is.
“We offer our prayers and support to the victim and the Muslim community affected”, he added.
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