Rape Cases On The Rise: Sons From Hell On Prowl

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WADE si ta (Come outside)! Olori buruku f# (a very unfortunate
person)! E gba mi o (Help me)! With palpable anger, Ms. Yetunde Alani ( not
real name), popularly known as Iya Shade, stood menacingly at the doorstep of
her neighbour, Segun Adeola, a.k.a ‘Uncle’, who hawks barbing tools in traffic.

Her shrill voice had woken up her
neighbours about 5.00am on mat fate morning of Friday, May 11. And almost
immediately, the ramshackle bungalow in Aiangbadi area of Lagos suddenly became
a Mecca of sorts, as several people, out of curiosity, literally abandoned the
comfort of their beds and raced towards her.
It was the landlady, an Alhaja, who
first approached her. “Ki lo de, Iya Shade! (what’s the matter, Iya
Shade?),” she inquired. Obviously devastated, she replied: “Mummy,
Oloriburuku yi ti ba’ ye mi je (This unfortunate man has ruined my life.”
Then, in a rancorous tone, the crowd chorused: “Ki to sefun el Ohun
</af what did he do to you? Where is he?)?”
As if she was tormented by some
invisible spirit, the thirty-two-year-old woman, who was clad in a boubou dress
and barefooted, tore through the crow, dashed into her one-room apartment and
pulled out Shade, her eight-year-old child. The innocent-looking girl was in
pains, and was weeping. Her fes betrayed her emotion.
ith tears cascading her cheeks^ Iya
Shade dropped a bombshell, which shocked the entire neighbour out of their
wits: O ba Sade sun ni o! (He raped Sade)!” Haa! The crowd exclaimed
thunderously. Still enraged, she continued: “Last night, I went to church
for our weekly vigil. By the time I was going, Shade was still busy with ner
homework. So, as usual, I asked her to lock the door.
But when I came back this morning, I
observed that she was weeping. I was curious and I wondered what could have
gone wrong. Then, I also noticed that her steps were wobbly. So, I asked her if
she had fever, but she Just shrugged her shoulders. Then, 1 persuaded her to
tell me what was wrong with her. It was then she barely muttered how Uncle
cunningly came into our room last night and raped her.”
Ngbo, Shade? (Is it true, Sade?) the
crowd asked, angrily. With her head drooped, Shade, who was visibly
embarrassed, narrated her encounter in a rather childish way, saying,
“After my mummy had left for church last night, I heard someone tapping
the door. When I asked who the person was, he mentioned his name as Uncle. I
asked if he needed anything and he said he wanted to ask mummy for a home movie
he lent her last week.
But I told him mummy had gone to
church. So, he asked me to look for the movie   for  him. Then,
I opened the door and he came in. So, we both began to search for it. But I
didn’t know he had discreetly locked the door. At a point,! felt his hand on my
buttocks. I resisted (she sobbed again). Then, he moved closer to me and
touched my breasts. I wanted to scream, but he gagged me and warned me not to
raise the alarm… .and then, he began to say all of sorts of things (then, she
stopped abruptly).
At that juncture, her mother erupted:
“So’ro…so nkan to sefun e now( Talk… tell them exactly what he did).
So, Shade continued: “eh, eh…. He just… (She wanted to pull up her
dress to indicate what she meant, but the crowd stopped her). I was crying, and
he pleaded with me not to disclose it to anyone. He even promised to buy me a
few things. Before he left, he gave me some medicines (She displayed some of
the remaining pills). He stayed with me for a long time before he left.”
When it dawned on the crowd that
36-year-old Uncle, who hails from Ekiti State, had bolted, they forced the door
open. Sadly, Iya Shade has since been left to nurse her wound alone.
If the foregoing reads like a fable,
you wul have a rethink when you read about an incident that was reported
earlier in the year in a weekly newspaper, Sunday Express. One of the screaming
headlines in its Sunday April 22-28 edition read: Married man rapes under-aged
(sic) in-law’.
In the report, a 15-year-old girl,
Chioma Izuchukwu, was serially raped by a 47-year-old businessman, Jude Dcehi,
who happened to be her aunt’s husband. The sinful act happened on April 14, in
Lawanson area of Lagos and it became public knowledge when the sexually
victimized girl ran into the street naked!
According to the report, the sexual
assault started when young Chioma’s aunt travelled to the East last Christmas
for the Easter celebration.
The victim, an indigene of Ekwusigo
Local Government Area, Anambra State, has lost her father while her mother is
blind. Consequently, she had to come to Lagos on November 8, 2011 to live with
the Ikehis with the understanding that she would continue her education. But
sadly, that was not to be.
“It was after I came back from the
village with one of their sons to Lagos, and my aunt was still in the village
during the subsidy strike. One night, he came to me and asked me if I was a
virgin. I said yes and he left. In the night, I woke up to the sound or
somebody removing my shirt and before I knew what was happening, I was naked
and that was the first time. In the morning, he told me he was going to Ojota
for the protest, and that was when I called my aunt and she told me not to tell
anybody,” Chioma was quoted to have said.
When her aunt returned to Lagos, she
was said to have only complained subtly, and then  it became  a 
closed chapter! Like the title of a Yoruba home movie, Once debe, Dcehi
couldn’t keep his libido in check. He beaded innocent Chima again in February.
And as usual, he allegedly threatened
to kill her if she told his wife. So, Chioma silently bore the excruciating
pains for several days. Although she was reported to have insisted on going
back to the village, her aunf would not grant her wish, especially after giving
her the ‘familiar’pain killer.
Not yet sated, the dirty man did the
dirty act again on a certain Sunday morning. How? “When my aunt went to
church, the husband just came in and called me into the room and was
sweet-talking me. I refused, but he forced me. He tore my shirt and raped me.
When he was done, he left the house.
I sat where I was naked. I was so angry
and was waiting for my aunt to see me naked like that. When my aunt came, her
husband was with her and I started crying. I told my aunt I wanted to go back
to the village because I was tired. But that was when she started shouting on
me, and I shouted back. So, she and her husband started beating me, that was
when I ran out naked, and the neighbours came to my rescue.”
As proof that evil-minded people are
truly on the prowl in the society, the Police, in September, nabbed two randy
elderly men whose stock-in- trade was trapping and sexually harassing underage
girls in Agbor, Delta State. But for them, it was like the end of the road,
when they reportedly fell into the ambush laid by one Captain Ubachukwu Solomon
Agbor on August 7, while they were defiling four underage girls after drugging
them inside their house on 16, Convent Street, Agbor.
In the report also published by Sunday
Express on September 2, one of the rapists, 65-year-old Sunday Obazi, popularly
known as old soldier, a native of Owa Ekei in Ika North East Local Government,
was using his house as a ‘motel’ where he was sleeping with underage girls. His
accomplice is a 68-year-old Micheal Utomi, a.k.a Pappy, who hails from Owa
Ahzomor in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State. The victims,
according to the reports, were minor between 12 and 14 years.
During interrogation by the Police, the
undisciplined men were said to have confessed, in their individual statement,
that they had been having affairs with the  girls  and
giving them N200. “Four of le abused victims, students of Ogbemudian Mixed
Secondary School, identified as Ngonzi Odia, Rita Osunde, Stella Tofa and Eboka
Ijeoma, gave their own sides of the story and it emerged that the plot was the
same for all of them: they went to the men’s house to see a friend, one of the
men persuaded them to have a drink of Five Alive, which unknown to them was
already doped with tranquilizing drug. According to Rita Osunde, a Policeman’s
daughter, it was er friend that usually took them to the house during break
periods in school.”
Indeed, if the likes of Ikehi, Adeola,
Obazi and Utomi can be   described  as  morally bankrupt,
what do you say of the so-called ‘men of God’ who engage in this condemnable
act?
Just recently, George Akinleye, a
47-year-old single pastor of a leading Pentecostal church was paraded naked for
allegedly raping an eight-year-old-girl twice in Fayemi Street, Ejigbo, a Lagos
suburb.
Although there were mixed reactions to
the incident, the father of the victim, popularly called Baba Akeem, said,
” About a month ago, we were shocked when our daughter, Elizabeth
complainea of virginal pains, saying that she was sexually abused by ‘Baba’,
the name she calls Akinleye the neighborhood pastor.
Her description of what transpired
between her and Akimeye showed that she was actually raped. I confronted the
man and he accepted getting close to my daughter, but he denied raping, her. I
knew he was lyingM almost got the Police involved, if not for the advice from
some people to allow the sleeping dog lie.”
But barely a month after, Baba Akeem
returned from work only for his daughter to demand for the same drag that he
gave her when Baba had allegedly abused her. So, he took the daughter to the hospital
for medical check, where it was confirmed that the girl had been sexually
abused.
It is a fact that cases of rape,
involving an adult and underage child, have been on the rise in recent times in
our society. Though many are in the public domain several others are discussed
hush-hush. In a chat with the Nigerian Compass on Saturday, a Sociologist,
Jegede Michael, defined rape as “having the carnal knowledge of a woman, a
lady or a girl without her consent. For a legal action, the victim has to seek
redress because the act was done without her consent. So, it becomes an
assault.”
While he argued that it might be
difficult to establish a case of rape between two adults because either of the
parties may have grudgingly consented to the act, he said any adult who had
canal knowledge of an underage child may Be suffering from psychological
distortion.
Anybody who had carnal knowledge of an
underage child may be suffering from psychological distortion. Anybody m his
right senses will not want to sleep with an underage person. It is against the
law of man and the law of God. So, anybody who indulges in this act surely has
a psychological problem. Frustration is part of the causes.
The entire citizenry is frustrated.
Some can not even discern or differentiate between what is right and what is
wrong. The youths have become disoriented, which is as a result of the
socio-economic situations of the country. Abuse of drug is another factor. Some
men act under the influence of hard drugs. There is distortion of reality when
drag is abused. There is the tendency for one to commit crimes; there is also
the tendency towards satisfying one’slust.”
Sharing the same opinion, Dr.
OmaLawaore of Horeb Hospital, Ojodu, Lagos said that in the African society,
emphasis is placed on the issue of rape; thereby, it is considered as a taboo.
“We place a lot of importance on the issue of rape. For that reason, it is
known as a taboo. There is sociological trauma on the child; andthere is also
physical trauma on the child.
If you put all of that together, there
are various effects. It has both long-term and short term effects.lt is more or
less like a crisis in the life of such a child. It could be the turning point
in the life of the child. It is necessary for the child to have a proper medical
attention, proper counseling by a psychologist and proper care by her parents
and people that constitute her environment. Then, in the society itself the
area where the child lives must also manage the information well, so that the
child does not suffer the scar forever.”
When asked how a case of rape involving
a minor and an adult should oe handled, he said it is most important to engage
the service of a counsellor who can talk professionally to both the parents and
the child who may have been traumatized. “If such a child has experienced
assault, it should be the work of a counsellor. Any child that has suffered
this abuse can easily be rehabilitated by counselors. The culprit that
perpetrated the act must be punished in order to serve as deterrent to those
who have similar intention,” he added.
In his view, the child, who has been
sexually abused will live with the ugly experience for a long time. According
to him, such experience willbe difficult to obliterate from the child’s mind.
Speaking further, she said, “The
sexual part of the child is already abused. She has been flowered against her
wish. This reduces the child’s self- image and self-esteem. Victims of rape are
traumatized for so long. Based on what has happened, they tend to develop a
kind of indifference towards the opposite sex. If the victim eventually falls
into adulthood, this may lead to hatred out of fear for the opposite sex in her
subconscious.   When
counseling is not adequately conducted^ it affects such a child for life and it
will affect even her marriage in the future.”
He, therefore, advised parents to be
proactive in order to curb the cases of rape among the underage children.
Parents, he also advised, should be closer to their children and monitor where
they go and who they associate with. The reason is that in case of rape, it
will be easy to track the culprit and even take necessary steps. “But it
is better to prevent it than taking punitive actions after its occurrence.
Parents should move closer to their
children- they should be involved in their children’s daily living; they should
not hand over their children to third parties like a house help who may not be
able to actually monitor these children effectively. Parents are the ones who
can prevent the occurrence of rape of the underage children. It is not a matter
of the law enforcement agency.
The law enforcement agency can only be
involved after the crime has been committed. Taking proactive measures prevent
incidents of rape among the underage children.”
Also, Dr. Akin Osunpitan, a medical doctor, frowned on in the increasing wave
of rape, particularly between an underage child and an adult.
Like Jedege, he first heaped the blame
on the doorstep of parents. However , he was quick to assert that the economic
situations of the country had, indeed, made a number of parents to fail in
their responsibilities at home. “Basically, I think the laxity of parents
encourages such act. At times, it is not their fault because most them have to
leave for work so as to make ends meet, thereby not monitoring the children.
They have limited time with the children. Most rape cases are within the family
set up. It is either perpetrated by Uncles or friends.
The little time parents have with their
children, they don’t teach them about sex. Maybe perhaps because of our
societal belief, most parents believe that a child has to reach a certain age
before the issues of sex can be discussed with her. However, parents have to
inculcate this idea telling female children not to allow their uncles to put
them on their laps.
They should be discouraged from wearing
provocative dresses or scandalous wears.”
Also, Mrs. Mercy Uloko, a middle-aged woman, in an interview with the Nigerian
Compass on Saturday, said underage female children should be cautious of
mingling with people without the supervision of an adult. Parents, according to
her, should know the kind of friends their children associate themselves with.
“It is dangerous for your
relatives who are grown- ups live with you, especially where you have little
children because some of them are not trustworthy; they can sexually abuse or
molest your little children. I have heard of a child who was staying with her
aunt. O n this fateful day, the aunt went for vigil only for her aunt’s son to
rape her.
I myself won’t allow any of my
relatives to live with me. The blame is on both the child and her parents,
anyway. The child should have screamed so as to draw people’s attention.
However, the parents take the greater gart of the blame because of leir
carelessness; they ought to get someone who would look after their child when
they are away,” she explained.
Interestingly, another respondent, Mr.
Kolawole Adams, revealed that he trains his children sex education very early
in life, so that they don’t fall prey. Perhaps, as the saying goes, once
Tbeaten, twice shy. He developed the habit after one of his daughters had been
sexually abused by his neighbour. “I still allow my girls to mingle with
the opposite sex, but this is done unaer the supervision of an adult. I can
allow my relatives to live with him, but it is only the trusted ones.’
When asked who should be blamed between
a seemingly uncaring parent and an innocent underage child, he said one cannot
apportion blame indiscriminately. “One cannot blame anyone in particular.
However, parents are to be blamed because of the little time they have for
their children and the confidence reposed in some members of the family. Of
course, any parent whose child has been molested sexually would be angry to the
point of killing whoever must have done that.
Well, that is expected because we are
all humans. I know some parents would prefer to allow the matter to die for the
sake of God and for the safety of the child, while some others would prefer to
press charges against the assailant. I would also like to say that the
environment where a child stays can also contribute to this despicable
act,” he said.
The danger in a case of rape involving
an underage child and an adult, according to him, is that the forceful
penetration can cause a lot of damage to the child’s private part. “In
this situation, child’s sexual organ is not ripe at the time of the occurrence.
The forceful entrance into the private part of the child can cause
vasco-virginal fistula. There could be a tear from the virginal to the rectum.
When the victim wants to urinate, the
urine starts coming out from the private part of the victim. Psychologically,
the victim can be frightened and fear of the unknown may set in; the victim may
have phobia for life. The victim may not enjoy sex as it is supposed to
“be in the future and there could also be infections. Now that we have
cases of HIV, there are so many sexually transmitted diseases. So, it could
have a long-lasting effect.”
Like Osunpitan, the Medical Director of
Horeb stated further that the victim must be made to undergo a comprehensive
medical attention. “Of course, it depends on the kind of disease the
assailant has in his system. Though she is underage, he could still transmit a
disease to her.
There is need for that child to be properly
investigated to be sure that the child does not contract HIV. Then, the
physical effect bothers on the relationship between the child and the society;
the way the child sees an adult and the way the child relates to her parents.
There are more challenges treating an underage child because there is
likelihood of a traumatic destruction of the underage child’s body and sexual
organ,” he said.
Although he said the first point of
call in a case of rape is the Police, he lamented that many tend to shun such
moves “because of the attendant shame and the fear of dragging the name of
the family into disrepute. According to him, ‘There is nothing oad in it. The
perpetrator has to be punished so as to serve as deterrent to others. Then, the
victim can be taken to the hospital, preferably a government-owned hospital if
the family really wants to establish a case.
Some laboratory tests can be carried
out on the victim.”
In the thinking of some people, a supposed clergy would not engage in such
condemnable act, except he intends to carry out some ritual purpose. Speaking
with the Nigerian Compass on Saturday, Pastor Omanudhowo Nicholas of the
Disciples of Christ Mission International, Ogba, Lagos, said, “I don’t
subscribe to the fact that clergymen who involve in sucn a dirty act are truly
men of God.
He is supposed to be a shining example
in the society. It is abnormal for anyone to do that, except the person has a
sinister motive. If he is caught in such an act, he wilr definitely lose God’s
favour and his congregation. A clergyman is supposed to be disciplined as a
disciple of God. Don’t forget, the word disciple was coined from the word
‘discipline’. A rapist must be faced the music.”
Spiritually, he maintained that anyone
caught in that act should be left m the court of God for judgment. The reason,
according to him, is thaf’God Has his own way of dealing with sinners,” he
concluded.

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