A 36 -year-old taxi driver, John Madu, is now cooling off his heels behind bars in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, for allegedly raping a female passenger.
According to the Abia State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ezekiel Onyeke, the 24-year-old female passenger, who was said to be travelling from Lagos to Obehie, was reported to be the only passenger in the taxi when the incident occurred.
He said the victim had boarded the commercial car in Aba after she arrived from Lagos and was traveling to Obehie, a suburb of Aba, when the randy driver decided to sexually assault her.
According to the police spokesman, the driver midway into the journey feigned that his cab had run out of fuel and stopped at a lonely place on the Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway, where he raped the suspect.
Police said the pleas by the victim for the suspect not to defile her as she was a virgin, fell on the driver’s deaf ears as he allegedly overpowered her and raped her right inside the cab.
He also said help could not come the way of the victim on time as the incident occurred very late in the night.
Onyeke added, “At a spot along the road, the driver pulled off the road, claiming that he ran out of fuel. The victim, who was not comfortable with the claims of the suspect, left the vehicle on the excuse that she wanted to ease herself.
“The driver, who suspected rightly that the victim wanted to escape, went after her and forcefully dragged the helpless victim back to the vehicle and raped her despite pleas from the victim that she be spared as she has vowed to keep her virginity till marriage.
“The suspect, who fell asleep after the act and did not know when the victim left the vehicle, was woken up by men of the Operation Safer Highway team on patrol of Obehie, who wanted to know what he was doing alone in the vehicle and on the deserted road at that hour of the night and he told the Police officers that he ran out of fuel.”
The PPRO said luck ran out on the suspect when the victim, who was hiding in a nearby bush, quickly came out and narrated her ordeal to the police patrol team.
“The suspect was promptly arrested and handed over to the Police at Obehie,” he said.
He said the victim was later taken to Cottage Hospital, Owaza, for medical attention while the suspect, “who made useful statement to the Police,” would soon be arraign.