◗ He gives us money and food anytime he had sex with us, child victims recount
JOHN ADAMS, Minna
Ibrahim Aliyu, 16, Sadiq Abdullahi, 10, Sadiq Safianu, 10, and Alhassan Mohammadu all of Central Primary School, Zungeru are the latest victims of a year long sodomy that rocked Niger State recently.
Their abuser, an alleged paedophile named Abdullahi Mohammed, 60, is a timber dealer from Kebbi State.
As apprentices, the victims who spent most of their time with their master and sometimes slept in his house were easy preys for Mohammed who took advantage of them a number of times.
The young victims alleged their master used to pacify them with money, food such as noodles, biscuits and soft drinks after each abuse. He occasionally begged them not to expose him and sometimes threatened to sack them from learning the timberwork under him they claimed.
The suspect, Abdullahi Mohammed, described as an Islamic preacher who usually preached in the local mosque, reportedly migrated to Zungeru three years ago. According to sources, he claimed he lost his wife before relocating to Zungeru but was, however, not forthcoming on the issue of children.
Beginning of the end
Trouble started for him when one of his victims, Sadiq Safiyanu developed stomachache and was taken to the hospital where the doctor discovered that he had been sodomized. The 10-year-old, upon interrogation by his parents, confessed that his master had carnal knowledge of him up to six times but was afraid to tell anyone.
Safiyanu claimed further that the acts took place mostly in the night when he was woken out of sleep and overpowered by his boss.
Narrating his ordeal to Saturday Sun in Hausa, the child said: “It is when I am sleeping that he usually pressed me down and if I want to shout he would cover my mouth. In the morning, he would beg me not to tell anybody. He would give me N50, sometimes N100.”
Safiyanu’s confession led to the arrest of Abdullahi Mohammed by the police and paved way for subsequent revelations by the remaining victims.
Others’ ordeals at the hand of the suspect were not too different from that of Safiyanu. In the case of 10-year-old Alhassan Mohammadu, he was sodomized three times, twice in the night and once in the afternoon.
According to the teenager, the first time was in the afternoon, when his boss sent him to his house to bring an empty jerry can to be used to fetch water. Unknown to him, his boss was following him. Immediately he opened the door, the older man followed him inside, held him down and forcefully defiled him, while covering his mouth to muffle his shout.
After the act, Alhassan claimed his boss prepared for him a meal of Indomie noodles and warned him against telling anyone about the incident.
Ibrahim Aliyu, 16, unlike the others was able to fight off his attacker when he attempted to sodomise him in the midnight. Aliyu told Saturday Sun that while he had slept in Abdullahi Mohammed’s house on several occasions, that night was the first and only attempt at defiling him.
“That night he asked me to sleep in his house because he said we will be going to the bush very early in the morning to cut woods.
“In the night around 12:00 am, he climbed on top of me and I immediately woke up. I told him to leave me alone otherwise I will shout.
“I continued struggling with him until he left me and started begging me, saying that it was the devil that entered him. He promised to give me money the next day but I refused and I told him that if he tries that with me again, I will report him to my parent and he promised not do it again.”
According to Aliyu, this happened almost one year ago. He claimed the suspect never attempted it again even though he continued to work with him until last June when he decided to stop going to his place.
The 16-year-old, however, claimed ignorance of his boss taking advantage of the other children until the news blew open.
One week after the incident was reported, police picked this up and the suspect has since been in detention at the Zungeru Divisional Police Station.
Worried by what was termed as the inaction of the police towards the incident, a father of one the victims, Shehu Musa, a butcher in Zungeru, alerted Niger State’s Child Rights Agency.
NGO steps in
When contacted, the Director General of the Child Rights Agency, Barrister Mariam Kolo, said the agency is aware and had taken over the case.
Describing the incident as disturbing, nasty and dehumanizing, she noted that the rising cases of sodomy in the state are causes for concern.
She confirmed that the suspect is still being held at the Divisional Police Station in Zungeru but assured that he will be handed over to the state Criminal Investigation Department “for investigation and prosecution.”
The victims, according to Kolo, are currently undergoing medical examinations to ascertain their status as most of them had complained of stomachache and were passing stool with worms.
“We are awaiting the outcome of medical checks and after that, they will undergo some counselling. We need to let them know that what was done to them is totally wrong and should not continue,” she said.
Sodomy on the rise
The incident in Zungeru was the second sodomy case reported in the state in February. Three weeks earlier, a 50-year-old man, Abdullahi Haruna, from Nasko in Magama Local Government Area, was arrested by the police for sodomizing seven underage boys of Getagi village.
Haruna, who admitted to the act, was accused of engaging in regular sexual intercourse with the minors whose ages range from 10 to 15 years. He confessed that the act had been going on for a long period of time before his arrest by a team of policemen attached to Nasko Division of the state.
The victims––Bilyaminu Musa, 13, Shawilu Umar, 14, Murtala Umar, 14, Mohammed Sale, 15, Usman Mohammed, 15, Mausur Mohammed, 14, and Shawilu Muhammad, 12––were usually drugged by the suspect to render them unconsciousness of the act about to take place.
“When those boys come I usually give them little gift items and give them some herbs to take before the intercourse so that they will not say no to my demand,” the suspect confessed during interrogation.
Haruna, who divorced his wife five years ago, admitted he had been defiling young boys for three years. “I cannot explain why I am doing this thing. Honestly, I don’t know why. But I started doing it since I divorced my wife,” he said.