From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Nine persons suspected to be marauders yesterday allegedly raped two women as well as the daughter of a farmer (names withheld) in
Mbagwen community, Guma local government area of Benue state.
The rapists also robbed the two women of two handsets and other valuables at gun point worth over N60.000.
The women, aged between 18 and 20 years old, had only recently returned home along with their husbands and children to their village after having fled for more than two months due to the crisis in the area.
It was gathered that the suspects invaded the house of the victims while their husbands were away from the village. They were said to have pounced on the women and then took turns to rape them while the daughter, who is said to be less than eight years escaped.
The rape victims were said to have been taken to an undisclosed hospital in Makurdi, the state capital, for treatment.
Narrating their ordeal to journalists, the women said that the leader of the gang (who is at large) had come to their homes earlier in the day and asked to be given water to drink.
While he was being served, the attacker, according to the women, noticed the absence of the head of the household asked for his whereabouts and the unsuspecting women told him that their husband had travelled out of town.
They said that the herdsman left only for him to come back later with eight others, brandishing guns and asked them to lie down and submit to them or risk being shot.
They explained that four of the suspects, who were heavily armed, fired shots into the air, compelling the terrified women to submit to them. However, they said despite their submission, the suspects beat them up and also collected their money and handsets.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Daniel Ezeala confirmed the incident, saying that one of the rapists has been arrested while the other eight are still at large, assuring that security men were on the trail of the fleeing ones.