By Romanus Okoye
A teenager yesterday narrated before an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, how she was allegedly kidnapped and raped at gunpoint by a traditional healer, Prince Tom who was to treat her father of stroke.
The teenager who was led in evidence by the state prosecutor, Mr Peter Owolabani, said that she was a 15-year-old student when Tom came to her home on December 10, 2019, with a member of her family’s church.
She said the defendant, now facing charges of defilement and kidnapping, requested for N25,000 as part of a fee to heal her father and her mother told her to follow him to a Point of Sale (POS) to withdraw the sum; but they were unsuccessful because the operators had insufficient funds. According to her, in their search for another POS, she and the defendant took a commercial motorcycle from her neighbourhood in Bariga to Ilupeju, Lagos State.
She said, “When we got to Ilupeju, my mother called him on the phone and I heard him telling her, ‘she is my sister, I cannot do anything to her ma’. He approached a commercial tricycle park and informed the drivers that we were siblings who just came to Lagos from a village and asked for a hotel around the area.
“I had exhausted my transport fare. I am always staying at home; my parents do not allow me to go out. So, upon hearing him asking for a hotel, I told him I wanted to go back home. He said that he was seeing something in the spiritual realm that if went back home, my father would die.”
The witness said the defendant paid for a room at Osmak Hotel, Mushin but she refused to follow him into the room. But the defendant persuaded her so that they could pray for her father’s healing.
“In the room, he was praying in God’s name and he brought out a black oil and said: ‘In the next five minutes, your father is going to get up from his sick bed and walk’. After five minutes, he said it had been done and we should enjoy ourselves but I insisted that we should go home. He asked if I was stupid and told me to lie on the bed. I refused, next thing I felt was a gun pointed at my head. I started shouting and he held my neck, removed my trousers and forcefully had sex with me. I went to the bathroom afterwards and was crying; he said I should not tell my mother what happened and asked if I had eaten. I said I had not eaten since 4pm, and the time was 8pm.”
The witness said they went downstairs and the hotel manager noticed bloodstains on her clothes and wanted to speak to her but the defendant refused and sent her back to the room. She said the defendant came back to the hotel room, fell asleep and left the room key on the bed. According to her, she could not sleep.
“I took the key, opened the door, went outside and locked him inside. I went to the receptionist, she gave me her phone and I called my mother but it was our pastor who answered. I explained everything that happened and gave him the address. I saw the hotel manager and explained what happened and he told me that he noticed the bloodstains and wanted to speak with me. The manager told the staff not to let the defendant out of the hotel room and they called the police who came to pick him up.
“This was about 2am in the morning,” she testified.
The teenager’s mother in her testimony said that she became afraid minutes after the defendant left with her daughter.
“I came to my senses and I ran to the bus stop to search for them. I called him on the phone and he told me that my daughter was at Ketu and I should pay N100,000 for her release. I called my pastor and I told him to tell the church member who brought the defendant to produce my daughter. He later said I should pay N5,000 for him to put my daughter in a taxi and I did so twice. I went to the Bariga Police Station to make a statement,” she testified.
Mr Elijah Udoh, pastor to the family, testified as the third prosecution witness, corroborating the claims of the teenager and her mother. Justice Abiola Soladoye adjourned the case until July 21 for continuation of trial