Sexual relationship is meant to be consensual. This means it is something that is expected to take place between two adults who have an agreement to do so. What this means is that when either of the partners is forced, it becomes a case of rape, and that is criminal. It becomes more complicated when the victim is a minor.
Gradually, rape stories are becoming more bizarre each time another victim dares to come out. What can be shocking than new born babies, toddlers and teenagers being raped by their relatives (fathers, brothers, uncles, nephews, cousins), care givers, trusted family friends and neighbours among others?
The truth is that victims who dare to step out, no matter how frightening and emotionally draining it maybe, do so to show other victims that they are not alone in their struggles. They also do it to ensure one more rapist, paedophiliac, is put away from saner society.
Antonia (other names withheld), 17, is a victim of rape, abduction and terrorisation by Yemi (surname withheld). It appears Yemi belongs to a gang that has been stealing, terrorising and raping girls in Kabusa area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Each time Antonia escaped back to her parent, she had been re-abducted, threatened and tortured by Yemi.
The under aged girl returned home again (close to the Tipper Garage at Shiritte Abuja) on Sunday July 7, 2019, and Yemi re-abducted her the next day. This time around, he severely manhandled and tortured her with parts of her body burnt with hot knife. The picture of the victim in her terrible condition is heart wrenching.
Yemi also threatened that if she escaped again, he would search for her and kill her. Currently the girl has escaped and has stayed away from home. Yemi has been parading the girl’s home in search of her. He also threatened that if she reports the matter to the police, he will kill her entire family members under the disguise of Fulani herdsmen.
Antonia told her story: “Yemi approached me for friendship and I accepted. When in May 2018, I went to visit him at home was the day I started living with him. Ever since then, I just forgot about going home. I forgot my house entirely I was with him throughout.
“On a particular day we were just strolling around the area when we ran into my dad, when he saw me he ordered me to go back home right away. I immediately obeyed and took a bike home, he followed me. So my dad came much later and met us at home and the guy then told my dad that he wants to marry me. My dad said I am too young and that I am still a student and he is too old for me. Yemi is 32 years and I was 16 at the time.
“I stayed with him for a year and two months, since May 2018. He was my boyfriend the very day I went looking for him in his house was the day I started staying there. My mind never went to the fact that I have a family.
“So when my dad asked me to return home, the guy would come and threatened to kill me and my entire family. I was scared and I had to return to his house. Each time I said I wanted to visit home to see my sisters he would start beating me and asking what they were telling me at home.
“I had no choice but to stay back. He told me that if my family thought they could keep me away from him or help me to run away, he would go there kill of them, burn our house down. With such threats I was scared to move an inch or stand up for myself.
“When my dad was a bit buoyant, I had pleaded with him to give me some money and get me out of here. That if the guy did not see me around here again, he would calm down and eventually forget about me. But my dad said no, that the boy could not do anything, that the guy was just being stubborn. But I told him this is not a matter of stubbornness.
“What led to this latest beating is because I found out that the guy is cultist. Few months after I started living with him, people around kept warning me that he was not the type I should be hanging out with. But I didn’t believe it because I didn’t see any sign warning me that he was a dangerous person. But as time went on I started noticing his movement and it was shocking.
“One guy (one of his friends) called me one day and said if indeed this guy has used some charms on me, I needed to go look for solution and free myself. He promised to take me to a place where I would be assisted to free myself from him.
“It is important to note that I have looked for solution previously, I have met several pastors to pray with me so that this guy would forget me. He has not even allowed me to work, I told him I wanted to learn a trade so that I know my staying with him will not be in vain but he didn’t even bother.
“What led to this latest beating that led me to flee for my life is this. I went to a friend’s place at Dako still in search of solution to my predicament. The person I went to see is that his friend and stayed there until it was late and couldn’t go back home. From Dako to Kabusa is not advisable to move around at night.
“I spent the night there but in another person’s house. When I got back to my parents house in the morning, I met him at the door he was waiting for me. The point is if the guy doesn’t see me in five minutes he will start misbehaving.
“He took me back home, it was a Tuesday morning and started beating me. Then he put knife on fire that he used to burn my hand. He used that pestle used to pound pepper to hit me on my head until it broke into pieces. Normally when he beat me, the compound people would get me drugs and nurse me back to health the moment he left because they were afraid of him.
“On yet another day not too long ago, he beat me from 10pm till 5am. People around sent for his friends to come that Yemi had killed me. That was how they came and took him away. They scolded him that no matter what I have done he had no right to beat me the way he did. So as soon as they succeeded into taking him out I was able to escape.
“His reason for beating me is because he suspected I slept with another man because I did not return home, I didn’t call him on phone and I didn’t look for him. And he said he should not see me at our house again. But how will I be around here and won’t go and visit my family at home? That is rubbish.
“When I escaped, I ran to one of my aunts around and used her husband’s phone to call my mum to come and meet me there. I warned her not to tell the guy where I was should he call or come, that she should tell him she had not seen me.
“When my mum came, I couldn’t even walk. When my mum saw me I couldn’t do anything for myself. I explained all what transpired. She was heartbroken she had to go get drugs from the pharmacy. He ran into my mum while she was shuttling and taking care of me where I was He warned her and threatened to go and carry my sister.
For what for Christ sake, I don’t know what I have done to deserve this. I didn’t take anything from Yemi to deserve this. He told my mum that even if he killed me he would survive it. I had to tell my mum to go and pick my elder sister from where she was working at a salon. My mum said when she picked my sister and they were on their way home on top of a bike, she saw him and his friends gathering at a spot.
“When they got home my sister called one of the neighbours in the same compound he was staying and she asked after me. So my sister told her she did not see me, and the neighbour warned her to advise me to stay away. Did I commit a crime by dating him?
“I noticed some people around him speaking silly slangs. When you see people of questionable character your instincts will tell you. I never asked him anything because he is the kind of person you cannot ask anything.
“I dropped out of school because my parents could no longer afford to send me to school. My dad is a building contractor while my mum is seamstress. We are five in number and I do help my mum in shop because I can sow very well. It was a mistake I made which I now regret. I just want to be free to be with my family and take my tailoring more serious.”
We are living in fear
“Since last year we have been looking for her. One day the dad was on his way to work when he ran into her. He called her and ordered her to kneel down and was about beating her when one man stopped him.
“Immediately he saw some boys surrounding him, that was why she told the dad that they should go home. But the dad said you go right away. In the night, some boys came with the boy to the house and the boy told us he wanted to marry her. We said no, she is still a student. That was how she spent the night.
“The next morning when she stepped outside we didn’t see her again. It has been like that and we have been looking for her. If she managed to visit before we even say anything, she would disappear again. At a point, we were not seeing nor hearing from her again.
“A particular Sunday she came to visit but not too long she disappeared again. It was the following day in the afternoon that she called me with our former neighbour’s phone number at where we used to stay before we moved to Kabusa. She said she was dying that I should please come.
“I informed my neighbour what she just told me and she advised me to rush down and if I needed anything I should let her know. When I met her I couldn’t believe all the injuries on her body. When I asked her what happened, she said the boy beat her and asked her what she was coming to do at home. He asked her if she was planning to run away! She said the boy has been threatening to wipe out all the family any day she came home or run away. That he would come at night like herdsmen and wipe us out.
“We are afraid because of the kind of person the boy is. He used my daughter as bait to lure the elder sister and raped her. And the people in the area could not talk. Once he finished beating her, as soon as he left neighbours would rush to drugs for her.
“There is a SARS man living in our area. I put a call through to him and explained everything, he said he would call me back but he never did. When it was approaching evening I had to call one of our church members who happens to be an Air Vice Marshal and asked to see him at home.
“When I got there I explained everything to him and showed him the pictures of my daughter that I took. That was when he got angry and called the Commissioner of Police and reported the matter.
“We did not report before now because we were afraid. He is the type that can walk up to you and order you to surrender your phone and other belongings and you will do it without resistance. The day he raped the elder sister, a boy that happened to challenge him, he took the boy’s touchscreen phone and up till date he is yet to return it.
“One day the father summoned courage and went to the police station to report. He was told the boys were well known to them and they were not the type you could arrest anyhow. He was told they would have to go with a van full of policemen and that we should give them some money and we had no money.
“It got to a point I almost sold my sowing machine to raise funds. It was the wife of the AVM that advised me against it. She has been assisting us financially. They are responsible for the bills we accumulated in the hospital so far.
“We understand the boy’s mother is from Ondo, (Ondo State) and the father is from Ogbomoso (Oyo State.) My daughter is afraid and does not want us to make it a media affair so that the boy will not run away or come and do us harm.
“All we want is for the guy to be caught because we are living in fear. As we are we cannot trek no matter how short the distance. Even if we don’t have money we must borrow to take a bike because we are afraid. He has been threatening us and may kidnap my children on their way home or to school or wherever they are going.
“I don’t know why he is focused on my family. Where we are staying is our personal house that my husband struggled to put up. Now he is thinking of selling it so we can move out and have some peace. My elder brother called and wondered why we are stuck there. Because of this threat my husband cannot go out to work.
“I cannot go out to work. He has advised us to leave. I sell handmade bags, sandals, hats that I make myself, I sow as well but all these I cannot do because of these threats. My daughters supposed to write the last WAEC but we could not afford it.
“We have had to relocate out of Abuja for now. I cannot disclose where we are until we hear the boy has been arrested and put behind bars. While we were in the hospital my daughter was talking incoherently and the doctors had to pump her with injections to bring her to normalcy.
“As soon as she was fit to leave the hospital we had to leave Abuja with my other children for our safety. He didn’t sound as if he was joking when he said he was going to wipe out the entire children.
“The police came to the hospital to take my daughter’s statement and mine as well, I just pray he is caught. When I called one of my neighbours, she told me that a lot of people are thinking of leaving the area for fear of what the boy and his gang can do.”