- Victims of gang rape horrors recount ordeals
By HENRY OKONKWO and LAWRENCE ENYOGHASU
Sex is ordinarily an intercourse between a man and a woman but several social factors including moral decadence and crime have largely influenced a paradigm shift from the normal to the weird! This explains the invention of new sex terms such as Threesome (a sex act between two females and a male), Devil’s Three-way (sex involving two males and a female), Swing (copulation between two males and two females) and Orgy, a group sex involving multiple males and females. The slang ‘Merry-go-round’ is a sex act involving three, four or more males and one female.
Apart from pornography, ‘Merry-go-round’ is hardly accepted by most women except in a case of rape, which then results to gang rape. But for the offenders, it is a ‘communion-of-men’, an act they perform, after much intake of alcohol and other substances.
Saturday Sun findings reveal that ‘Merry-go-round’ sex is also a routine cult practice employed by gangs for different purposes. It is an initiation practice used to make a girl become a member of a cult group and also cement their loyalty to a pack within the cult group especially in groups like Vikings and Eiye, also referred to as Air Lords Confraternity. For example, a pack of four or five new entrants or close-knit gang members may decide to have sex with one girl with a notion it would cement their tie. Hence the gang-raped victim is seen as a pivot to further deepen their bond.
Gang rape horrors
For anyone who believes that women are raped because of the way they dress, or how voluptuous they look, an encounter with Felicia Ode and Abosede Wasiu is bound to make them start doubting their belief. The scrawny teenagers that were recently gang-raped in their neighbourhood by a group of sex-demented young men, had nothing to do with seductive dressing, voluptuous or curvy bodies. Yet, they were raped.
When 14-year-old Felicia Ode woke up that fateful morning, the one thing uppermost in her mind was to do her routine household chores on time, and go hawking Koko (baked cocoyam flakes) during the early morning rush by commuters. Little did she know that danger was lurking around the corner for her.
According to her, at about 6am as she approached the Ijora-Olopa bridge in Apapa area of Lagos metropolis, a man beckoned her to come. As she looked his way she noticed two other men standing with him. Thinking that they wanted to buy some of her product, the baked cocoyam flakes, she innocently went to meet them. But instead of buying as she had hoped, the three sex maniacs forcibly dragged her into a dark zone under the bridge, groped her body, gang-raped her, and, afterward, fled the scene.
“Initially I screamed but no one heard my cries for help,” she recalled. “They then covered my mouth, held me down and took their turns in raping me.” The evil was perpetrated on Friday, August 11, Saturday Sun learnt. But more than one month after the terrible act, Felicia is yet to recover from the trauma.
She narrated that barely 24 hours after being raped, she spotted her rapists in the neighbourhood. But instead of them showing remorse for their evil deed they took to taunting and laughing at her. They told her that they enjoyed raping her, and threatened to do it again.
“After the incident, the next day, I ran into two of the men that raped me in the neighbourhood,” she recounted. “They were pointing and laughing at me. They flicked their tongues at me, telling me that I was sweet and telling me that they would rape me again. I don’t know any of them. So I have no idea what I’ve done to them to make me their target.”
An official of Child Protection Network (CPN), Comrade Ebenezer Omejalile, who took the matter to the Pako Police Station in Amukoko, Orile-Iganmu, Lagos, told Saturday Sun that the three rapists fled the community before the police could close in on them. “They all ran away when they learnt that the police have taken up the matter. They’ve been at large since then,” he revealed. “They can run but they can’t hide because justice must be served.”
Although Felicia doesn’t know much about the men, she said she could identify them anywhere she sees them. “The police have assured us that they won’t rest until the rapists are brought to book,” Omejalile said. “I want to believe that the long arm of the law would eventually catch up with them.”
He added that Felicia’s case is quite pathetic because her rapists have been monitoring her movements without her knowledge. “That Ijora-Olopa Bridge is quite a busy area. Because of the tanker drivers that usually block the road with their vehicles, many opt to use an alternative route. That was probably why the three rapists were emboldened to carry out their evil deed on the innocent girl.”
A similar incident involving an innocent and unsuspecting girl also happened at Oke-Arin neighbourhood, a slum located inside Oworonshoki area of Lagos. Oke-Arin is a riverine community where poverty walks on all fours. What passes as houses on the filth-filled streets are made of ramshackle shanties and rundown ancient buildings.
It was there that a 16-year-old girl, Abosede Mutiu, living with her father – a struggling carpenter barely able to make ends meet, was gang-raped while she was on her way home from an errand for her father. One of her next-door neighbours-Mr. Rilwan, called her from a compound and asked her to come inside. “I didn’t suspect he had any evil intentions,” she said. “As I peered inside and came into the compound, Rilwan and three of his friends – Nuru, Bobo and Kamaru grabbed me and bundled me into a room, shut the door, and four of them took their turns in raping me.”
Abosode’s distraught father, Mr. Wasiu Mutiu, told Saturday Sun that although the heartrending incident happened months ago, he and his daughter are yet to get over the trauma. “The tragedy took a heavy toll on us as a family,” he said. “For months, she couldn’t stand or walk properly. Her health became so bad that she stopped going for her skill acquisition training.”
To worsen the matter, Wasiu disclosed that while he and his family were busy battling with the horror, Rilwan and his friends swaggered round the street bragging to anyone that cared to listen about how they took turns in sexually assaulting his daughter. “It’s been more than six months since the incident happened but the young men that raped my daughter are walking about freely. It was around July that Alhaji Awofeso, one of our community leaders heard about the matter and took it up with the police. The police started investigations and arrested one of the rapists, the one called Bobo. Others, on learning about the arrest, fled. And since then no one seems to know their whereabouts.”
Narrating his experience to Saturday Sun, a repented cult member, Ademeka Philip, who graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Department of Engineering, said that his own initiation was done at a hotel called Old Carolina Hotel, along University Road, close to Jives Event Center.
“We were in the room, the light was bright and all could see each other, everybody expecting the unexpected. The initiator came in with a girl that we didn’t know how she looked like but she was begging us not to hurt her, she could not cry for help, it was later we found out that her friends were held hostage pending her cooperation. We went ahead and did the act and it was shameful at the end but it was what we always make fun with whenever we are together, on how each performed that day,” Ademeka stated.
… And minors are not spared
For Ogechi, 9, she would never forget her October 2, 2017 birthday in a haste, when a 36-year-old, Lekan Aroso took her virginity. Lekan had invited her inside his house for her birthday gift, like a child, which she is, she hurried inside, only for Lekan to have carnal knowledge of her.
Lekan told Saturday Sun, while he was being questioned that he had done it only once and he regretted it afterward. “I plead with the government and the police to please forgive me. It was the devil who pushed me to do it. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t injure her,” he pleaded.
When asked if he didn’t have any girlfriend to satisfy his sexual urge, he in a faint voice said that the girls are always complaining of his one-second syndrome.
Ogechi’s father, Ebele Amaechi, said that he was on his way from a journey when his wife told him about the incident but on getting home, Lekan had sought refuge among his numerous friends. He also narrated how they found out what had happened to his daughter.
“She started to complain of pain and rashes around her mid region, when the mother asked her if something had happened there, it was then she told her that Lekan touched her there under the guise that he was giving her an injection,” Ebele stated.
Nothing prepared Mr. and Mrs. Muftaudeen Ramon for the shock they got last September. On a fateful evening, their three-year-old daughter, Aisha ran out crying, alleging that their neighbor, Mr. Azeez popularly known as Akilapa has sexually assaulted her.
According to the father of three, his family has been neighbours to Akilapa for over three years, and that they never suspected he could attempt to defile their little girl.
Narrating the incident to Saturday Sun, Mr. Ramon said he was inside with his wife in their home at Town Hall street, Amukoko in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos, when they suddenly heard their daughter crying outside. His wife then went out to know what was happening to their little girl. “I was still inside the house when I heard my wife shouting in anger. I thought she was quarrelling with another woman, so I didn’t bother coming out; until one of the little girls in the compound called me out asking why I was inside the house while my wife was fighting Akilapa for defiling Aisha, our daughter.
“I didn’t know what to make out of what I heard. Aisha just turned three years a few months ago, so why would any of my neighbours want to sexually defile her? I was dazed and shocked. I ran out to meet Akilapa. But when his mother saw me approaching the scene, she rushed at me and held me tight. I shouted that she should let me go but she refused and held me tighter until Akilapa saw me and escaped.”
They said their child gave details of how Akilapa lured her into his room, groped and poked her private parts till she ran out crying. An enraged Mr. Ramon went and reported the matter to one of the community leaders, who immediately ordered that Akilapa’s family should produce him and bring him to the palace. “I told some of the youths in the community what had happened and together they all went to hunt for Akilapa. We found him where he hid around the canal and bundled him straight to Amukoko Police Station as instructed by our leader.
Ogechi, Aisha, Felicia and Abosode’s stories are examples of the worrisome trend of pedophiles and gang rape perpetuated by miscreants, relatives, and neighbours. Despite lack of adequate data, information from states and relevant NGOs indicates that sex crimes like gang-rape are on the increase.
Explaining gang rape
According to behavioural psychologists, gang rape takes place when a group of people participates in the rape of a single victim. It typically involves a rape gang of at least three offenders on one victim (Merry-Go-Round).
Mrs. Chinelo Ezenwa, a psychologist, said that the horrifying incidents and brazen manner rape is often committed shows the poor mindset of many youths. “They choose to denigrate, objectify and view women as the property of males”, she said. “It is pure lunacy and barbarism. What makes Nigeria’s situation so bad is that the law against rape is ineffective, the institutions to render support are overburdened and our leaders seem to be at their wit’s end. Millions of Nigerians continue to believe that women invite trouble on themselves by being careless. But it cannot justify raping.”
“Increasing sex crimes like rape is an indication that we have a huge population of lost generation of jobless, ill-educated young men that have reached adulthood, and have sought refuge in violence”, said sociologist, Mr. Louis Ubasi.