Boys and girls aged between 12 and 15 are the worst victims of sexual abuse in Minna Niger state.

The Medical Officer of the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), Minna, Dr. Ekaete Umoh, revealed this on Saturday.  

The centre says it has recorded several cases of sexual abuse against children and teenagers in Niger, in the last six months but shockingly families of victims have often hindered the prosecution of offenders.

“Families of victims have often stood on the path of prosecution officials. In some cases, they refuse to appear. When they choose to appear, they withhold information that is crucial to nailing the perpetrators,” she said.

According to Umoh, many parents or guardians of victims usually prefer to settle out of court, instead of allowing justice to take its full course.

She said that the cases involved the rape of young girls and forceful anal sex with young boys.

“In one of the most recent cases, a man in his mid-40s, who is married to two wives with seven children, had anal sexual intercourse with four boys, paying N100 to each of them after every encounter.

“He has confessed to penetrating three of the children three times, while one suffered four penetrations.

“So far, both the suspect and the victims have been screened‎ for sexually transmitted disease,” she said.

‎Umoh said that the matter is being investigated, adding that the suspect would be arraigned “as soon as investigation is completed”.

She said that the guardians of the assaulted children have been invited for interrogation and counseling, while the children are being counseled at special centres.