A school teacher in Nigeria was charged with raping a three-year-old student in the northwestern city of Kano this week.
Muhammad Suleiman, 26, appeared at Kano Chief Magistrates’ Court to plead not guilty on charges of pedophilia.
Prosecutor Inspector. Pogu Lale claimed that Suleiman lured the toddler into a secluded classroom before raping her.
“The accused had sexual intercourse with her, which caused her harm,” he told the court.
Chief Magistrate Muhammad Jibril ordered that Suleiman remain in prison custody and not be released on bail before adjourning the case until May 24th.
A similar pedophilia case in Nigeria was brought in front of courts last week. A suspect identified as Soji Ogunrinola, also known as “Bulldozer,” was accused of raping his 13-year-old stepdaughter. He also allegedly threatened to kill her if she told anyone about his crimes.
The stories are the latest shocking abuse to come out of Nigeria, where women in rural areas often live as second-class citizens and remain victims to high levels of sexual and domestic violence as well as practices such as child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM).
Thousands of young girls have also become victims of Islamic State affiliate terrorist group Boko Haram, which still controls and terrorizes large swathes of the country despite the government’s insistence that they have been largely defeated.
The organization typically targets women and underage girls for abduction, many of whom are brutalized, raped, tortured, and sometimes murdered. Many of the women released back to their families are also stigmatized on their return, lacking any organized services to help them through their ordeals.