A 10-year old girl (name withheld) who lives at Agbado Ijaiye area of Lagos, southwest Nigeria, has alleged that her father’s best friend, Sunday Nwankwo, raped her five times in two years.
Nwankwo was arraigned at the Magistrate’s Court 6, Ikeja and sent to Kirikiri Prison as he could not perfect the stringent bail conditions granted to him by the magistrate.
The accused had pleaded not guilty to the charge of defiling a minor and having carnal knowledge of her forcefully. He was granted bail on the condition that he provides three sureties in kike sum of N100,000 each, three years evidence of tax payment to the government and each of the surety must possess landed property worth N5 million.The accused was alleged to have been having sex with the little girl since she was eight years old.
Test conducted on the girl at the Orile Agege General Hospital showed that she was no longer a virgin.The alleged illicit act was exposed when the three-year old brother of the victim told their mother that somebody used to lay his sister down when nobody was around. Their mother became curious and questioned the girl, who later revealed that Nwankwo had been having sex with her, saying that he had slept with her five times.
According to the girl’s mother, "When I first asked her, she denied it but when I threatened to pour pepper on her, she opened up and said it was her father’s friend that slept with her. She said by the time I gave birth to my second son, that was the third time her father’s friend had slept with her. I gave birth to my second son two years ago, when she was eight years old." She explained that because the church the family attended was far, she usually asked her daughter and the rest to go to the Four Square Church in Nwankwo’s compound, which gave the man the opportunity to carry out the alleged act.
She said: "My husband has been feeding Nwankwo for years. People even thought my husband was his younger brother because of their closeness." The 10-year old girl, who is in Junior Secondary School 1, had explained to her mother and the Esther Child Rights Foundation, which pursued the matter, that Nwankwo would lay her down on a plank after putting a foam on top of it and then have carnal knowledge of her. She alleged that the man usually brought out a knife and threatened to kill her if she reported the matter to anybody.
The little girl added that because he lays her on a plank during the act, that was why she normally complains of waist pain.
The matter was reported at the AIT Police Station which led to the suspect’s arrest. It was gathered that the police tried to cover up the matter even when the test conducted on the girl proved that she was no longer a virgin. The test result was tendered to the police but they were not willing to prosecute the suspect. The culprit was released and re-arrested after the Esther Child Rights Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, intervened and demanded for justice. This led the police to arraign the suspect at the Magistrate’s Court 6, Ikeja.
According to the Executive Director of the foundation, Mrs Esther Ogwu, she got to know about the matter when the mother of the raped girl contacted her, saying that the police tried to cover up the matter but that due to her persistence, the alleged culprit was charged to court. Ogwu said she interviewed the raped victim and that she narrated all that happened to her and how she was defiled by her father’s best friend several times. The case has been adjourned till 24 May, 2013 for hearing.