Operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition in Persons (NAPTIP) have arrested a 41-year-old Festus Femi, an installation engineer, for the alleged rape of three school pupils of the same secondary school and at different occasions.
Preliminary findings revealed that the suspect, who hails from Ondo State, is married with two children and lives in Bwari Area Council of Abuja. His wife and children live in Ondo State. He was apprehended by men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and thereafter referred to NAPTIP for further investigations and prosecution.
A statement released in Abuja on Tuesday by NAPTIP spokesperson Stella Nezan indicated that the first victim was a 13-year-old JSS 2 pupil in one of the secondary schools in Abuja. The female student lives with her parents in Bwari.
She disclosed to the investigation team that she met Festus through her classmate (name withheld) who asked the victim to accompany her to Festus’ house, who the friend claimed was her uncle.
On getting to the house, her classmate and Festus went out briefly, and on their return she told the victim that Festus wanted to have sex with her. The victim’s refusal and pleas of being a virgin fell on deaf ears, she said.
Festus, the victim said, turned up the volume of his sound system and proceeded to rape her in the presence of her friend. He further threatened to kill her if she told anyone. The experience, the victim said, left her so distraught that she attempted suicide.
The second victim was a 12-year-old JSS 2 student who lives with her Aunt in Bwari. The same classmate took her to Festus’ house and told her that Festus wanted to have sex with her.
When she refused the offer, Festus gave them money, asking that they visit at some other time. The victim reported that she had been on her way to her classmate’s house on a different day when she ran into Festus; he invited her to his house and raped her while she was waiting for her friend.
The third victim, a 15-year-old girl, is the same person that introduced the other two victims to the offender. She said that Festus was her former neighbour and he gives her N500 each time he had sex with her.
She said that Festus had told her to bring more girls to him and he would give her three thousand Naira. She stated that so far she had brought five girls to the offender, all minors ranging in age from 12 to 15 years old. She further corroborated the first victim’s story on the rape and threat to life.
In a related development, a 51-year-old bursar of Government Secondary School, Dangara, Abaji, Abuja, was also arrested by NAPTIP officials for allegedly drugging, raping and impregnating a 15-year-old student.
The suspect, Luke Gabriel Ekundayo, from Ilorin, Kwara State, was the victim’s guardian in school, in whose house she spent short holidays.
The victim, an SS3 student, took ill in Ekundayo’s house, and upon taking some drugs administered to her by the suspect, passed out. On waking up, she saw bloodstains and said she felt uneasy, but did not suspect that the school bursar, whom her grandmother handed her over to for protection, could do anything sinister to her.
The victim, an orphan who was on scholarship, was threatened by the suspect into having sex with him continuously, or that he would tell her sponsors to stop paying her school fees. The rape continued until the victim became pregnant.
NAPTIP Director-General Julie Okah-Donli condemned the actions of the two men, and said their arrest and exposure is in line with the name-and-shame policy of the Agency.
“Rapists would be prosecuted for their crime against humanity and NAPTIP will not hesitate to bring the full wrath of the law on them.”
The director frowned at the high incidence of rape in the country, and cautioned school girls to be careful of the kind of friends they keep, warning that lots of teenagers are led astray by fellow teenagers, who are unfortunate victims of the crime themselves.
She admonished parents to be careful about who they entrust their children with, noting that abuse and exploitation often happens at the very hands of people meant to protect children.