A magistrate court sitting in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State, yesterday remanded a 51-year old man, Francis Onyeji, in Okere Prison for allegedly abusing a teenage housemaid.
Onyeji, a father of four and staff of a Warri-based indigenous oil and construction firm, was accused of severally having carnal knowledge of a 13-year-old maid (names withheld).
Nigerian Pilot gathered that the maid, who is said to be a niece of Mrs. Chibuzor Onyeji, wife of the accused, was a Junior Secondary 3 student of Ekpan Basic Secondary School in Uvwie Local Government Area.
Prior to Onyeji’s arraignment yesterday, the victim told journalists in Warri that the accused started the unlawful act with her since 2013, saying she was sternly warned against telling his wife, otherwise she would be sent back to the village.
The victim said the accused allegedly had unlawful carnal knowledge of her whenever he returns from offshore duties and offered her between N200 and N1000, adding that he had given her the sum of N1,500 on the last occasion.
She added that she usually spent the money given to her on her school stationery, literature, as well as snacks because her aunt (Mrs. Onyeji) seldom gave her food to eat.
Nigerian Pilot learnt that relations of the suspect, who hail from Imo State, including the father of the teenage girl, Mr. Pius Nworie, had made spirited efforts to settle out of court, a request which the court turned down.
In spite of that, the accused pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charge read out to him and was consequently ordered to remain in prison custody, following the adjournment of the case to August 25.
Magistrate Blessing Ideh declared that “The hearing of this case is being adjourned to August 25 and the police officer is commanded to convey the defendant to prison and deliver him to the (prison) superintendent thereof, together with the warrant.”

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