Last week, a family court sitting in Owerri, the capital of Imo State, arraigned the state director of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr Ikenna Unegbu, for allegedly defiling a two-year-old girl in his office. According to the mother of the victim, Chinonye Obioma, the defilement took place on February 5. She told the court: “My daughter went into the office twice with biscuits and groundnuts, only to come out from the director’s office the third time crying.
“When I asked her what happened, she mentioned that Uncle Police (the suspect) removed her pant and put his stick (penis) inside her bumbum. I went home in tears, seeing reddish, swollen vagina, remains of sperm, tissue paper gummed in her private parts.
“I called Oga Ikenna (suspect) to enquire what he did with my daughter, and he harshly denied knowledge of the incident.”
While the suspect was granted bail, the matter was adjourned till March 19.
There was public outrage when the news hit the streets that 13-year-old Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje was turned to a sex toy by her aunt’s husband, Mr. Andrew Ogbuja, and his son, Victor. Human right activists, women’s groups and female students protested, all asking for justice for Ochanya.
It was alleged that, for five years, Ogbuja, a senior lecturer in the Department of Catering and Hotel Management, Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, a Catholic Knight of St. Mulumba, and Victor, a final-year student of the polytechnic, rode Ochanya like a donkey, every day, until she became sick. And the girl died on October 17, 2018.
The lecturer has been arraigned for rape and murder, while his wife is in custody for negligence, but Victor disappeared.
Similarly, last year, a 39-year-old driver, Omoju, and his son, Femi, were nabbed by operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for allegedly sexually molesting and impregnating their neighbour’s 14-year-old daughter. The state commandant of the NSCDC, Pedro Awili, said: “In the course of our investigation, it was discovered that Mr. Omoju’s son, who is called Femi, had earlier had sexual intercourse with this same girl some years back. The father, having discovered that, also took over from his son and continued the business of having sex with the same girl. Shamefully, the girl is already two months pregnant for him.”
As Omoju was being paraded before journalists, the victim narrated how she was devoured.
While the Ogbujas and Omojus are facing trial, a 38-year-old barber, Jobi Kayode, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for defiling his 12-year-old junior secondary school neighbour. Justice O. Taiwo of an Ikeja Special Offences Court held: “The prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and I hereby convict him on the offence of defilement as charged.
“The instances of rape have become prevalent in our society and it is almost becoming an epidemic. The defilement of of a 12-year-old neighbour, who trusted him as her neighbour, is heinous.
“The defendant is hereby sentenced to 20 years in prison, to be served at the Kirikiri Correctional Centre, with no option of fine. The sentence starts from today, November 8, 2019.”
In the same vein, Mr. Kabiru Husaini, a 35-year-old headmaster at Alhazawa Primary School, Danja, in Danja Local Government Area of Katsina State, is presently cooling his heels in a correctional centre. He will be there till April 2020 when he faces Hajiya Fadile Dikko of a Katsina senior magistrate’s court.
Husaini will have audience with the law because the police alleged that he sexually violated his 10-year-old pupil about five times inside one of the classrooms in his school. It was alleged that the headmaster “deceived and lured her into the said school classroom and about five times had unlawful carnal knowledge of her.”
He is, therefore, facing a charge for the offence of rape, in line with Section 254 of the Katsina State Penal Code Law of 2019.
The other day, a 45-year-old man was arrested in Kundu village in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State for allegedly raping his three-year-old stepdaughter.
The mother of the girl, Malama Fatima Bawa, said: “My husband likes sex too much. So, I chased him out of the room in the night and locked the door. It was after I chased him out that I heard my daughter, who was sleeping in the parlour, crying.
“I quickly ran to her only to see my husband abusing my daughter sexually. I am a breast-feeding mother and I spend the whole of my day taking care of the children, yet my husband does not allow me to rest.”
She further alleged that she saw blood and semen on the body of the girl, adding that she informed her brother-in-law’s wife about the incident.
Late last year, the NSCDC, Lagos State Command, arrested Chinedu Ifeleka, 46, who defiled his 14-year-old daughter for three years, and his wife kept quiet to save her marriage.
While the victim said that her father had a field day with her, the suspect said he did it once under the influence of alcohol.
Ifeleka said: “I am appealing to my daughter to forgive me because what I did to her was under the influence of alcohol.”
The victim’s mother, Mrs. Florence Ifeleka, admitted knowing that her husband was sexually assaulting their daughter, stressing that the man threatened her with divorce if she let the cat out of the bag.
“When I couldn’t bear it anymore, I had to discuss it with my friend who later reported the matter to the NSCDC officers in our area, which was how my husband was arrested and detained. I still can’t believe my husband could do such to his daughter,” she said.
While Ugochukwu Nwonwu escaped after he raped and impregnated his 13-year-old daughter in Abia State, Mr. Olamide Joseph, a 44-year-old man with two wives and six children, was arrested in Iponri, Lagos, for allegedly raping a 14-year-old schoolgirl inside a container by the roadside.
When the Niger State Police Command arrested suspected serial rapist, Mizanbilu Yusuf, he said: “I have been in the act and I enjoy doing it. I do it when I am aroused to have sex and since I do not have a girlfriend, I decided it would be easier to have carnal knowledge of minors in my area to cool off tension.”
While being paraded before newsmen in Minna, Niger State, for allegedly camping and raping a 14-year-old girl, Nura Abdullah said: “I have been waiting for a day like this and I am happy that I set traps for her severally and at last she fell into the trap and I have accomplished the mission of having sex with her. With that accomplished, I am ready for the consequences; let the law take its course on me. I am a happy man already.”
Kalu Agwu, a businessman from Abia State resident in Gboko, Benue State, also landed in soup when he defiled his neighbour’s three-year-old daughter last August.
Meanwhile, in some areas in Nigeria and elsewhere, child defilement is sanctioned in the name of marriage. In such places, 12-year-old girls actively perform bedroom functions.
Indeed, the perpetrators are on the rampage.
Unholy act in holy places
No place is sacred for the violators. For instance, a gardener, Isiaka Afolabi, 52, allegedly defiled a 13-year-old girl in a white garment church in the Mushin area of Lagos recently. It was alleged that Afolabi had defiled her about four times inside the church, where she and her mother were members.
Similarly, police nabbed a prophet, Elisa Ayoluwa, alias White, the founder of Zion Prayer and Deliverance Mission, Ikotun, Lagos, for allegedly raping underage children of his church members and also for procuring several abortions for one of his underage victims. It was gathered that one Iya Titi was an invaluable associate in the abortion project.
On July 25, 2019, 37-year-old ex-jailbird, Rinku Sahu and Kailesh Kumar, 38, raped and beheaded a three-year-old girl in Jamshedpur, India.
A Catholic priest, Father Michele Mattola, was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl in Trentola Ducenta, near Naples, Italy. While the priest tried to deny it, the girl presented her phone, which she used to record herself while being sexually abused.
Another Catholic priest, Father Richard Bile, in Ivory Coast, hanged himself over a case of pedophilia on an underage girl in April last year.
Why they do it
Some canvass the notion that child molesters do it for ritual purposes. Consider this from Kemi, a Beninoise, whose lover allegedly defiled her three-year-old daughter: “I want the government to make him face the full wrath of the law because I have been told people who sleep with minors do it for ritual purposes.”
A spiritualist, Gowon, said that many of the men who defile their children do so for wealth.
“We know that if you are sleeping with your daughter and do the necessary things, you will be rich,” he said.
But experts say child molesters suffer mental disorders that make them sexually attracted to children. Pedophilia exists in both sexes, but males are more prominent.
According to psychologists, pedophilia is a disease of the mind, which has no cure. Put differently, once a pedophile is always a pedophile.
A source said: “Images of child sex abuse have reached a crises point on the Internet, spreading at unprecedented rates in part because tech platforms and law enforcement agencies have failed to keep pace with the problem.
“Reports have continued to fly of how adults molest children. Recently, a 12-year-old girl was reported to have given birth after she was raped by a group of men in Edo State.”
Last week, also, the Katsina State Police Command disclosed that it had launched a manhunt for nine men who allegedly raped a 10-year-old girl repeatedly in the Maigorea village of Fasaki LGA.
Police public relations officer in the state, Gambo Isah, a superintendent of police, said: “I want to confirm that the police have taken over the investigation and efforts are on to arrest the suspects.”
According to Pathfinder International, “statistics collated showed that 60 per cent of rape survivors are children from 0 to 14 years. Also, we gathered that not only girls are being raped; even boys at a percentage of 15 to 20.”
It was also gathered that more than 10,000 cases of pedophilia were recorded in 15 states in six years.
The effects of child rape include emotional trauma, social stigma, sexually transmitted infections, termination of child’s life, poor school attendance, low academic performance, physical pains and injuries.