A 20-year-old fashion designer (name withheld) on Monday dragged her four neighbours before an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court for raping her on different occasions over a seven-year period.
According to the prosecution, the neighbours committed the offences from 2010 to 2017, when she was 14 years old at the Papa Ajao area of Mushin, Lagos State.
The prosecution counsel, Mrs Arinola Momoh-Ayokanbi said the offence contravenes Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015, which prescribes up to life sentence for anyone convicted of defilement of a child.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that two of the neighbours – a driver, Taofeeq Alabi, and dry cleaner, Igwe Andrew, aged 49 and 31, respectively – are facing trial for defilement.
The other two – Babatunde Green and Babatunde Andrew – are currently at large.
Led in evidence by her council, the complainant, who is the first prosecution witness, narrated how each of the two defendants allegedly sexually abused and defiled her.
“The wife of Taofeeq Alabi, the first defendant, is a fashion designer and I usually go to their apartment upstairs to learn while she sews clothes for clients.
“One day, her husband asked me to come to the apartment, that he wanted to send me on an errand.
“When I got into the apartment, he gave me a powder to lick and told me that he had put something (black magic) in my body and that even though I got married, it would still be there.
“I became very scared, he removed my clothes and had sexual intercourse with me.
“I did not tell anyone about what happened because of fear and I was also afraid of how my parents might react if I told them,’’ she said.
Narrating how Andrew, the second defendant allegedly defiled her, she said he committed the offence in her bedroom.
“I was fast asleep in my bedroom and forgot to lock the door. Andrew came into my bedroom and lay on top of me.
“When I woke up and asked why he was in my room, he asked me to shut up.
“He told me that he wanted to have sexual intercourse with me,” she said.
The witness said that she tried unsuccessfully to push him away and he forcefully defiled her.
“After it happened, my younger brother came into the bedroom, saw him and beat him with a stick, telling him to get out of the room.
“The next day, he approached me and told me he wanted me to do something for him.
“When I asked what it was, he proceeded to show me a blue film (pornography) on his phone.
“I ignored him and since that day, I avoided him,’’ she said.
The complainant said both defendants defiled her when she was a 14-year-old Senior Secondary One (SS1) student.
She said the other neighbours (Green and Babatunde) started defiling her when she was in primary school.
She said she never told her parents about the defilement because she was scared of them but it all came to light when the caretaker of their property informed her father that she was being defiled by the neighbours.
“My father reported the defilement at the Ladipo Police Station, where we made a statement and I was referred to the Mirabel Centre for medical examination,’’ she said.
After the evidence, defence counsel, Mr K. U. Ani, requested for an adjournment of the cross-examination of the witness on the grounds of his ill-health.
Justice Abiola Soladoye remanded the defendants at a correctional facility and adjourned the case until Feb. 2, 2020, for cross-examination of the alleged victim.