Five teenagers have been accused of raping an eight-year-old girl, Christine (not real name), on Adepeju Street, in the Bariga area of Lagos State.
The victim’s father, Asuquo, who demanded justice, said the rape was discovered by his wife’s sister.
He said, “My wife travelled to her hometown in November 2022 and she went with my second child, a boy. She took my first child to her sister’s place. Some days after, I received a call from my wife’s sister that I should come to her house for something urgent about my daughter.
“When I got there, my in-law narrated to me how she saw blood coming out of my daughter’s private parts And when I questioned her, my daughter mentioned that five boys, the eldest who is over 18, had been sexually molesting her whenever no one was around the house.
“My daughter mentioned the names of the five boys who reside in the same compound with us. She said at different times they dragged her into their rooms and molested her. Immediately, we contacted a child rights organisation, Esther Child Foundation, for help and we also reported at the Bariga Police Station.”
Asuquo said the police, after much persuasion, arrested two of the suspects on December 23.
“In the course of trying to hold one of the boys that my daughter mentioned when the police did not pick up my calls to arrest others, his relatives descended on me till the boy escaped.
“The security of our estate later apprehended him; a friend brought his car and we took him to the police station. There, I met one of the people who fought against me and he pointed at me that I bit him, which I did in self-defence.
“The police detained me until December 25. I later bailed myself the following morning with N11,000 and I went home.
“On Monday afternoon, the parents of the suspects started pleading. Before I knew it, I saw the five boys in the compound; they had been released by the police,” he added.
The founder of Esther Child Foundation, Esther Ekwe, said the teenagers took advantage of the child.
She said, “Our society is now filled with psychopaths; there should be extra-vigilance by parents. Citing the case of Christine, those boys took advantage of the fact that neither her parents nor a minder was available to monitor what was going on with her. Imagine, the girl was crying the day I spoke to her and she said, ‘Mummy, please save my life. They will kill me.’
“The police went ahead and released those boys instead of taking them to a juvenile court. We are demanding that the relevant authorities take action and tell the police to re-arrest the boys.”
Christine said the boys, who molested her at different times, warned her that if she told anybody, she would be killed.
She said, “Ebube dragged me into his room; he held me down and put his thing inside my thing and I cried. He said if I told anybody that I would die.
“Lateef and his brother, Kamal, used to do the same thing to me. Sheriff and his brother, Ade, also dragged me inside their house and put their thing inside my thing. They said that if I told anybody, they would kill me. I was afraid.”
A legal practitioner, Charles Okungbuwa, urged the family to report the matter to the Lagos State Ministry of Justice.
“This is a big crime against the girl and where the culprits are teenagers, they should be arraigned in a juvenile court,” he added.Follow us on social media