The girl child appears to be endangered in this part of the world as the incident of child rape has somewhat become a daily occurrence in the country. It is thriving and deepening its roots by the day in the Nigerian society. According to this report by Isioma Madike, the perpetrators of this act cut across all ages and classes of the society: security personnel, close associates, clerics and relations are all caught up in the crime
“Daniel scaled the fence at the back of our house from the next building and dragged me to his apartment. He forcefully pulled off my panties and did it behind the windows. I bled from my private part and he cleaned it up with his white handkerchief. He subsequently threatened to kill me if i reported the matter.”
This was the pathetic story of a six-year-old, identified simply as Olawunmi, who was allegedly raped by a 22-year-old man, known only as Daniel at Ladilak area of Bariga, Lagos State, on January 2. It was a horror the little girl never expected on a New Year. “The wicked man dishonoured her innocence,” her mother cried.
Olawunmi is in primary two at Ladilak Primary School, Bariga. She lives at 17, Aderanijo Street while Daniel lives at 19 of the same street. Her mother said: “I was in my shop on the fateful day when a neighbour called to draw my attention to the pitiful condition of my child. I was called around 4.30 pm that Olawunmi was bleeding profusely.
“I rushed home immediately only to discover blood gushing out from her private part. Haaa, my baby had been raped, was all I could remember before passing out momentary. But for sympathisers who came to my rescue, I may not have survived the nightmare.”
The case which is being followed up by Human Rights Monitoring Agenda was reported to Pedro Police Station. The station, Saturday Telegraph gathered, remanded the suspect and immediately referred the victim to Marabel at Ikeja for treatment and medical report. Police, according to the human rights group, have also promised to transfer the case to court.
When contacted on the telephone, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the station neither picked nor returned calls put through to him for confirmation and his reaction. The police officer also did not respond to the two text messages sent to his number. Our reporter also tried but failed to get the reaction of the accused on the incident.
But, if the above case was tragic, the second is simply depressing. On Friday, December 23, 2016, a 25-year-old bricklayer, identified simply as Saliu, also allegedly had canal knowledge of a three-year-old girl, identified as Hummi in Minna, Niger State. Her parents lived the next door to Salisu at Angwan Daji, Chanchaga Local Government Area of the state.
The suspect was said to have lured the little girl into the premises of Nuru Islam Primary School in the neighbourhood, tore her pants and forced his way into her. It was the loud painful cries of the little soul that attracted the attention of passersby, who stormed the hideout to rescue the girl and handed the rapist over to the police.
Incidentally, Saliu confessed to the crime. He said: “I lured the girl to the school and forced my manhood into her. But, I was unable to penetrate due to her loud cry that caught the attention of people. I know the parents; they are my next door neighbours. I have never done this before; she is the first.”
Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, is not left out of this as a two-year-old girl in the city suburb at Karu town, was reportedly raped by a tenant in the house where her father was a security guard. The rapist allegedly defiled the toddler after offering to buy her sweets.
Gombe State also recorded its name in the habitual incidence of incestuous rape when a man reportedly had carnal knowledge of his two daughters. The two young women later escaped and reported their plight to neighbours.
Another man, who reportedly raped three of his children aged five, seven and nine, was equally arrested by the police in Enugu, on April 21, 2016. This was disclosed at a briefing by Women’s Aid Collective (WACOL), and Tammer SARC in Enugu. WACOL and Tammer SARC also said seven boys were among 479 rape victims reported to them between April 2014 and April 2016.
Giving the breakdown of the cases reported within the period, the Executive Director of WACOL, Dr Ngozi Ezeilo, said Enugu East topped the list with 157 cases; Enugu West, 114; Nkanu, 16; Igbo Etiti, five; Aninri, four; Igboeze South, three; Nsukka, four; Udenu, two and Uzo Uwani, two.
She said that the rape of seven boys by homosexuals were new, adding that the increase in the number of cases was because many victims now report their experiences due to the campaign for victims to come up with their stories. Meanwhile, only one of such case has been successfully prosecuted just as 37 other are in courts.
John Onose, a former councillor at Sapele Local Government Area, was also arrested in Delta State for allegedly raping a seven-year-old girl on July 23, 2016. Onose previously served as an aide to the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Monday Igbuya.
According to reports, the 54-year-old man allegedly lured his victim into a bush around Fovie Street in Sapele, before raping her. After letting the child go, her mother, Onome Ojakovo, later found she was bleeding from her vagina and anus.
The suspect was married and has six children at the time of the incident. Incidentally, the mother of the victim did not take her daughter seriously at first until the little girl complained of pains in her ‘bombom’. She was subsequently rushed to Sapele Central Hospital for medical treatment.
“When she came back from school the next day and was still complaining of the pains, I decided to pull her pants. What I saw shocked me. My daughter was bleeding from her private part and her womb was pulling out. In my shock, I raised the alarm, which attracted our neighbours. It was then it dawned on me that my child had been sexually violated. I started crying and I couldn’t imagine who could be this wicked to have done this evil to my little child.
“I was then advised to put salt in a hot water with disinfectant. While I was forcing my daughter outside to sit on the hot water, the suspect came out of his compound and was walking to and fro. And when my daughter saw him, she pointed at him as the man that injured her,” said Ojakovo
Onose was arrested afterwards. The Delta State Police Command spokesman, Celestina Kalu, who confirmed the alleged rape case, said it was under investigation.
An Ado-Ekiti Magistrate’s Court equally ordered a church Pastor, Gabriel Asateru, to be remanded in prison custody for allegedly defiling a five-year-old girl, also in December 2016. The police prosecutor, Inspector Bayo Ajiboye, told the court that the accused committed the offence on December 23, at Ifishin-Ekiti.
Asateru, 53, on the said date unlawfully defiled the five-year-old girl by petting her to sit on his laps. According to the prosecutor, the offence contravened Section 31 of the Child Right Laws of Ekiti State. He added that he had duplicated his case file and sent to the office of the Director of Public Prosecution for legal advice.
In Bayelsa State, a 38-year-old pastor and six others were paraded by the Police for alleged rape of an 11-year-old girl and defilement of two minors aged eight. The cleric, identified as Ogbomo Jerry, was arrested for defiling an 11-year-old in his office at Aduleama in Amassoma community of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state, according to reports.
The state Commissioner of Police, Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, who paraded the suspects in Yenagoa, said the pastor, who is also the Manager of Riverside Business Service, lured his victim to his office where he raped her.
A private school teacher also raped a 10-year-old pupil In Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The 31-year-old teacher, Adebola Adetola, was arrested by the Oyo State Police Command after the family of the primary three pupil reported the incident to the police.
The pupil, who clocked 10 in July, 2016, was said to have opened up to her parents on Thursday, June 4, 2016. She narrated what had been going on between her and her teacher, which led to the man’s arrest. Adetola, who was a member of a popular Pentecostal church in Ibadan, was due for wedding with his fiancée last August. But the suspect denied committing the crime he was being accused of, though he admitted that the girl used to play in his room and would sleep on his rug after school hours.
“She used to come to my room and would sleep on my rug. Her parents are well aware of her closeness to me. I have never slept with her, not to talk of cleaning her up as she claimed. It is true I used to buy things for her and give her money, but I had no ulterior motive for doing this other than the fact that I was close to her family. I was surprised when police came to my school this morning to arrest me for defilement,” Adetola said.
However, the girl, who said the suspect, was a teacher in her school as well as her after-school lesson teacher, stated: “I used to help Mr. Adetola to carry his things to his house. He used to teach me and four others lesson after school hours. One day, when others had left, he asked me to sleep on the bed and remove my pants. He removed his boxers and raped me from the back. He shook and a whitish thing came out of him. He wiped it with toilet roll. Since then, he had been doing the same thing to me. It had been on for some time before my mother discovered.
“He used to give me N5 and would also buy biscuit for me. I was using the money to buy sweets (candies) from my mother’s shop.” The girl, according to reports, said she did not tell her mother of her experiences because the teacher warned her against it. “He threatened that he would beat me seriously if i did.”
Not long ago, an 11-year old girl, who was a victim of sexual abuse, stunned the police in Lagos State, when she confessed that she enjoyed having sex with their neighbour, who allegedly defiled her on many occasions. The victim told the police that she did not tell anyone including her parents because she enjoyed having sex with the suspect.
She opened up to the police when she was asked why she did not report the sexual assault to her parents. According to her, “whenever he invited me to his one room apartment, I always sneaked in and allowed him to have sex with me because I enjoyed it.”
The incident happened in Iyana Ipaja area of the state. Saturday Telegraph gathered that the suspect from Ogun State, used to sneak back home from work in the afternoon when the parents of the victim had gone to work to have carnal knowledge of her.
It was alleged that after having sex with her, he would give her money to buy food, sweets or biscuits and warned her not to tell anybody. This went on for months until they were caught by their neighbour who raised the alarm and contacted the victim’s parents.
Another 12-year-old girl, who was allegedly raped by a man identified as Alo at Koloba area of Ayobo in Ipaja, Lagos State, said: “He forced me to pull off my panties and licked my private part while he slept with my friend and defiled her too. He subsequently gave us N50 and threatened to kill us if we reported the matter.”
Alo, who was later arrested by the police in Ipaja-Ayobo, had, before then defiled eight other children, who allegedly confessed that he had raped them within the neighbourhood. The eight victims, whose ages range from five to nine years, were brought to the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) to enable the state government to take over the case.
The news of the rape caused a stir at WAPA ministry as the members of staff rained curses on the rapist, who allegedly lured the children to his apartment where he besmirched them. Tests conducted on the victims at the Ayobo-Ipaja Primary Health Centre, confirmed that the children had, indeed, been violated.
A top official of WAPA, who confided in Saturday Telegraph, said it was not the first as, according to her, “the ministry had handled several rape cases of minors in recent past though, we had never recorded a case where a man serially raped eight children at a go. This is a new dimension.”
Long before now, rape was almost alien in this clime, so also was anti-social behaviour; but not anymore! Within the last few years, Nigerians have been entertained with gory stories of rape incidents. In some cases, even headmasters were being accused of raping the pupils in their schools. Day in, day out, newspapers are punctuated with reports of men of over 60 years raping under-age children. Just recently too, it was reported that a pastor raped a member of his church in the altar.
Project Alert, a non-governmental organisation, told Saturday Telegraph a story that prompted its petition against a teacher of a certain school in Lagos State. According to the narrative, one of the little souls had allegedly showed up at the school with blood dripping down her legs. When questioned by school officials, the girl claimed that her class teacher had had sex with her.
Programme officer of the NGO, Tobi Asekun, said: “It was the school that brought the case to us. This is not the first time that we have received complaints against the suspect’s activities. Last year, one of his neighbours came to us making the same complaints but no one could take action because we needed his victims to confirm the claim. So, when this case was brought to our attention, we wrote a petition to Zone 2 Command,” Asekun said.
In all lands and climes, rape is a social ill heavily frowned at. In the African cultural setting, it is particularly a great taboo. Nigeria is not an exception, even though, it is presently facing a frightening scenario in that direction.
However, there is a new dimension to rape incidences in Kaduna city and its environs. For instance, a businessman, Alhaji Habu, allegedly raped a fellow man, Kabiru, in his resident at Malali, one of the highbrow areas in the city recently. Kabiru alleged that Habu drugged him with tea before his devilish act. He further alleged that he was too weak to pull Habu out when he penetrated him but eventually managed to gain enough power to get the man he called uncle off him, using a knife.
Kano State, which was noted for its famous groundnut pyramid, had two of its young men bagging a life sentence for raping a three-year-old to death a few years back. It was the city where a grandfather and his three male relatives allegedly subjected his 10-year-old granddaughter to incestuous rape also. The four had claimed that the girl lured them with sexual offers in exchange for money.
As if in competition, another Kano father raped his two teenage daughters in conceit until relatives intervened and reported him to the police. The intervention, however, came too late as the older of the two girls was already pregnant. When she eventually had the baby, it was ironically named after her grandmother, the estranged wife of the incestuous rapist. This disgusting dimension only added to the already bad situation.
Disturbed by the rampant cases of sexual assault in the commercial city involving minors, the then state branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) canvassed stiffer punishment for offenders. The Chairman of the Christian body, Bishop Ransom Bello, described the development in a chat with our reporter as alarming. He pointed out that it was a major index of moral decadence in the society. He urged government to prescribe at least life sentence for rapists, which he said is a heinous crime in the society.
The priest lamented that cases of rape, particularly the brutal attack on under-aged girls by rapists was assuming a dangerous dimension despite the preaching of morality by both Christian and Muslim clerics. According to him, the development is a clear indication that parents and guidance are not living up to expectation in the handling of their children in terms of moral upbringing.
In many homes, including those of the elite across the nation, the sad tales are replicated as the girl children often undergo debasement and de-humanisation as victims of sexual abuse by their mistresses’ husbands or children. Even those who hawk wares on the streets also run the risk of being prey to those the late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, once referred to as animals in human skin.
The girl child devourers prey on the ignorance, self-worth and vulnerability as well as the innocence of victims who, often end up nursing their sorrow in solitude, for fear of being “deported” to their abject poverty-stricken village homes. Stories abound of old men raping two-year-olds; husbands raping house maids, and their wife’s relations and the daughters of neighbours while teachers feast on their female students, who, in normal societies are supposed to be under their care.
There are stories also of men who raped their mother-in-laws. Indeed, rape cases, which are daily reported in Nigerian cities, involve mostly minors and that makes it more horrifying. Girls as little as a year old are daily being defiled by men who have lost all sense of decency. Incidentally, the growing cases of rape have been considered, in some quarters, as a consequence of parents’ neglect of their roles to their children.
Many parents and guardians are believed to have abandoned their duties of imparting morality to their children and wards. They are said to be so busy with their material pursuit that they do not know the kind of company their children keep. Some are even accused of closing their eyes and ears to whatever their children do or say.
There are those who also attribute the rampart incidents of the criminal acts to the attitude of parents towards sex. According to these opinions, some parents no longer consider sex as sacred. Sex, they say, is supposed to be a secret act but some parents, particularly those living in very tight accommodation, according to them, make public show of the act even in the watchful eyes of their children.
A senior police officer who does not want his name in print, said: “The terrains in most places are densely populated. The majority of the inhabitants are people from the middle to the very low-income earners. And the possibilities of these crimes occurring in these areas are higher.
“The reasons are obvious. The nature of the buildings in those areas makes it easier for people to intermingle and experience has shown that most of the perpetrators are people who know the victims. They are usually people they see around. They are people who ordinarily are known to the young girls. So, there is this confidence that the girls have when the perpetrators say, come.”