Policeman impregnated me in custody, Says a woman nabbed for throwing Her baby in a well

Why would a woman after willingly taking in and putting to bed then decide to dump the baby into a public well? Well, the suspect was arrested and hauled into detention. While awaiting prosecution, one of the police officers saddled with the responsibility of protecting the rights and dignity of the female suspect in his custody suddenly makes her a sex object, eventually impregnating her.

Before the above incidences, Halima Abdu, from Taraba State, was a full-time housewife to Haruna Buba whom she lived with at their Unguwan Mai Ruwa residence in Jalingo, Taraba State capital. But one day, without any quarrel, her husband asked her to leave his house without issuing her a divorce letter. At the time, Halima was already pregnant for him and had borne him a female child and she could not understand why he decided to divorce her while carrying his baby in her womb. So, she went to a court to have the marriage dissolved. But when her husband was summoned before the court, he said he was just fed up with her and was no longer interested in keeping her. Thereon, the court ordered him to divorce her, but he refused.

When the court told Halima that it has no power to issue her a divorce letter, she said she decided to inform her neighbours about her ordeal and made up her mind to go back to her parents who were until then resident at Juniji village in Bayo local government area of Borno State. But upon her arrival, she discovered they had left for an unknown destination.

“When I arrived at Juniji on June 15, 2009 I could not find my parents, because as Fulani nomads, they had migrated. I was accommodated by one Malam Muhammadu who allowed me to stay with his first wife, Hafsatu. In the afternoon of June 17, 2009, I gave birth to a baby boy and decided to leave with the baby,” she said.

In the evening of the third day (that is June 19, 2000) after giving birth, she arrived at Balbaya village in Bayo local government area and stopped over. Probably out of frustration and annoyance with how her husband treated her, and having nowhere to go or whom to turn to, she confessed, “I decided to [throw] the baby into a well.”

One Malam Bello Ali (Agambe), Chairman of water vendors at Balbaya reportedly saw the body of the baby boy and was said to have reported his discovery to the village head, Lawan Ali Muhammadu, who in turn took reported the matter at the Balbaya police outpost. When the baby was removed, it was already dead.

Inspector Habu Danazumi of Balbaya outpost and the village head then reported the case to the Divisional Police Station in Bayo. Police investigation led to Halima’s eventual arrest and detention. The case was then transferred from the Bayo Divisional Police Station to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Borno State Police Headquarters in Maiduguri

After months of investigation, she charged before Justice Alkali Gana Wakil of High Court 11 in Maiduguri and was then remanded at the Maiduguri maximum prisons, where prisoners are temporarily being held after the destruction of the Maiduguri New Prisons during the Boko Haram crisis. She was charged with culpable homicide punishable with death under section 221(b) of the Penal Code.

Weekly Trust reliably gathered from prisons sources that based on the suspicion of a female prison warden within the Admissions Board (a department within the prisons that is saddled with the responsibility of ascertaining conditions of new inmates and disclosing to them their rights), Halima was discovered pregnant. A pregnancy test was conducted to confirm her situation in March 2010 and she was confirmed to be carrying a 12-week-old pregnancy.

Halima told Weekly Trust that a police officer in whose custody she was kept during the investigation after she was transferred from Marama Police Division to the CID lured her into having sex with him. “He said he was going to help in setting me free if I agree to have sex with him and we had sex once right there in the cell where I was kept. But after that, he failed to keep to his promise. I did that with the hope that I would be set free,” she told our correspondent.

She insisted that she was impregnated at the state CID in Maiduguri by the mobile police officer whom she says is called Abubakar. “I was even taken there to identify him by the prison officials,” she maintained.

A police source told Weekly Trust that the MOPOL Halima identified and accused of having sex with her has been arrested and detained by the state police command. It was also learnt that the command is planning a DNA test after her delivery to ascertain the paternity of the child.

Meanwhile, Halima accused has been granted bail by the court despite the fact that she is charged with a capital offence that is punishable with death. Our correspondent learnt that this was done by the judge so that she could have access to proper and routine ante-natal care, as well as to ensure that she and the baby are in good health. But until someone comes forward to meet the bail conditions or stand as surety for her, she would continue to be in prison custody as she said she has no known relative.

“I do not have any relatives anywhere that I know except the Borno State Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association. He to is not my relative. He only assisted me as a fellow kinsman. But as it is now, I do not know how to trace him, but I know he resides in Maiduguri. He even visited me at the prison but we have not traced him in order to make him come to court. My four-year-old daughter, Aisha is in his custody too”, she told Weekly Trust. The case has now been adjourned to August 11, 2010 for continued hearing.

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