ω He used charms to hypnotise her – Auntie
ω I did it under the influence of alcohol – Suspect
From OBINNA ODOGWU, Abakaliki
Little Miss Favour (surname withheld), was said to be three-years-old when the evil deed began, when the old man, one Simon Alobu, at the centre of the sordid drama allegedly had unlawful carnal knowledge of her for the first time.
But since then the six-year-old orphan from Akpoha community in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, has been raped repeatedly for four years, by the same man.
What a pity! As Ms Enya Martha Orie, her mother’s sister, who took her into her custody after she lost both parents told the story, weeping, about what this little girl had passed through these past four years tears also began to well up in your own eyes. You felt the pain and sorrow in your marrow. You felt like strangling or hanging outright whoever did it, without the benefit of allowing the wheel of justice which they say, grinds steadily but slowly, to take its course.
The wicked act which was said to have been perpetrated on the innocent girl for first the time after she had begun to recuperate from the shock of losing both parents, by mingling and playing with other children, took place in 2014, while Martha was away to the farm in the agrarian community.
“This mess started in 2014 when I had gone to the farm,” she recalled in an interview with Saturday Sun. “That night, while we were sleeping, she woke up in the middle of the night and started crying. I asked her why she was crying. She told me that her private part was paining her. I was shocked. I was wondering why she would be talking about pains in her private part at that tender age. It was then that she told me that someone inserted his penis into her vagina.
“Favour was born in 2011 and in November 2014 she was only three years old. Given her age, she didn’t really know what actually happened to her but she was pointing at her vagina. I asked her if she knew the person that did that. She said no.
“It was at the hospital that doctors discovered that she had been defiled. They gave her treatment. We followed the medical treatment until she recovered. But after her recovery, the man raped her again and everything returned to square one. This mess continued from 2014 till recently when God exposed the culprit. The man had often used charms on her such that she could not mention his name. Each time after raping her, he would put a cut on her body with razor and rub in some charms.
“So, during this period my younger sister often accompanied her to school to ensure that the rapist did not waylay her. I had raised the alarm but no one accepted knowing what had been happening to Favour. I discovered the razor cuts on her backside while I was bathing her. It was fresh and she told me that it was done by the rapist. My fellow women had told me to wash her private part with warm water. It was while I was doing that that I discovered the suspected cuts.
“In 2015, the rapist repeated the act. As usual, the neighbours rallied round and sympathised with us. They urged us to keep praying that God will one day expose the man behind the dirty and shameful act.”
He did recently, after four years of the girl’s sordid ordeals in the hands of the alleged rapist known in the neighbourhood as “Papa Eke.” Martha who narrated how her neighbours once saved her from committing suicide over the incident when the mysterious experience became unbearably frustrating for her, also revealed how the breakthrough came in terms of unmasking the man allegedly behind the rape.
“In 2017 the mess continued,” she said. “In August this year, I came back from the farms and noticed that Favour was smelling. I inspected her and discovered that she had been raped again. Later that month, we went for adoration prayers. While there, we prayed to God to unmask the perpetrator of that act; we prayed that God should neutralise the power of the charms the rapist has been using on her such that she is unable to say who has been exploiting her sexually.
“When we arrived in the morning, Favour opened up. She revealed that it was Papa Eke that has been raping her. She narrated that he came to our house and beckoned her and Anthony (one of her relations) to come and warm his soup.
“According to her, after warming the soup, they boiled water and Papa Eke prepared garri (eba) himself. He gave them some portions to eat but Anthony didn’t eat because according to him the soup had gone sour. Anthony left and Favour followed him behind but Anthony told her to stay back so that she could help to wash Papa Eke’s plates after he had eaten. The man immediately rose and locked the door. According to her, he stopped eating and carried her to the bedroom.
“She narrated that he removed her pants, tied her waist with wrapper, perhaps, so that her vagina can push out. She said that the old man inserted his penis into her vagina. That was how the hidden evil was made open to the public hearing.”
Martha later reported the case to the Family Law Centre, Abakaliki, and the body took it up and invited the police into the matter. But in an interview with newsmen the suspect, Alobu, while confessing to doing it under the influence of alcohol however denied being behind the serial raping of the poor girl. “Yes, I did it but I was under the influence of alcohol,” he said. “When I wanted to penetrate, she started crying and I left her.”
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Loveth Odah, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), confirmed the incident. She said the suspect who is now in police custody would be arraigned in court at the completion of investigation.
Meanwhile, wife of the Ebonyi State Governor, Mrs. Rachael Umahi, has expressed sadness over the incident and vowed to ensure that the culprit, whoever he is, does not escape the long arms of the law. In an interview with newsmen, her Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Donatus Owoh, said that the First Lady has promised to see that the little girl got justice.