Africa

Kano state serial rapes: Man arrested after 40 rapes in Nigerian town

Still of woman
Image caption On the news of the arrest, one woman said: "We can now sleep with our eyes closed"

Nigerian police say they have arrested a man after 40 people were raped in one town over the period of a year.

A mother in the northern town Dangora caught the man in her children's bedroom, according to police spokesman Abdullahi Haruna. The man ran away but neighbours gave chase and caught him, he added.

The man was arrested on Tuesday.

The police say the spate of rapes included an attack on an 80-year-old and children as young as 10 years old.

There has been a recent wave of rapes and killing of women in Nigeria, which have led to a national outcry, with thousands signing a petition and using the hashtag #WeAreTired.

Dangora is a small town in Kano state about 85 kilometres (55 miles) south-west of Kano city, making it difficult for police to access, reports the BBC's Mansur Abubakar from Kano.

The chief of the town, Ahmadu Yau, said the arrest is a welcome development.

"People of Dangora are so happy at this time and we hope justice will be served appropriately."

Residents told the BBC that they had lived the last year in fear, even in their own homes, because they had heard that a serial rapist was climbing fences and raping women indoors.

"We can now sleep with our eyes closed," one woman told the BBC.

Recent cases that have shocked Nigeria

If you have been affected by sexual abuse or violence in Nigeria, help and support is available at Naptip.

If you are in the UK, you can find advice at BBC Action Line.

The results of a survey published by NOIPolls in July 2019 suggested that up to one in every three girls living in Nigeria could have experienced at least one form of sexual assault by the time they reach 25.

It is not uncommon for rape to go unreported - with some victims and their families, fearing stigmatisation, police extortion and a lack of trust in the judicial process, choose not to report cases to the authorities.

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