(Published in June 2019 edition)
By Ekamma UBA, Assistant Investigator Editor Lagos.
TO stalk the underage girl child and forcefully have sex with her is not only a crime against humanity but nature as well. The preponderance of these unnatural sexual escapades among sexually perverse persons in the city of Lagos is alarming for want of appropriate adjective; as there is hardly a week past without reports of sexual assault on minors by adults who are old enough to be their grandfathers. Worried by the increasing cases of sexual crimes including rape, pedophilia and incest, the Lagos State government established a Sex Offenders’ Register in 2014 to monitor the menace of Gender and Sexual Based Violence in the state. Barely six months after, the Lagos State Government said about 140 convicted sex offenders out of the 526 rape cases had been recorded in the Sex Offenders’ Register. Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola who gave the hint said the state had recorded no fewer than 12, 120 rape cases and other sexual violence matters in the last four years, describing such acts as threats to dignity and humanity. While signing the executive order, the Governor said “Child abuse and violence against women could only be tackled through collective action by all involved.” Reacting, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye, informed that a specialized group in the Directorate of Public Prosecutions would handle the issuance of legal advice for cases of Gender and Sexual Based Violence in the state. According to him, the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team, DSVRT, established as a response to the evolving ugly scenario had identified and was monitoring 113 sexual violence cases currently at the High Court just as there was currently about 141 cases on the Crime Data Register of the State. Mr. Ipaye said “The mandatory reporting policy integrated into the order would make it easier for individuals and organizations in need of information to access the register as form of background check. He added it was now compulsory for all State School Administrators, counselors, teachers; social welfare officer and any other official of the State to report any suspected or actual child abuse or neglect to the Attorney- General’s Office.”
To complement the effort of the state government, the immediate past Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, CP Imohimi Edgal had to set up a Gender Unit at the Command Headquarters; vested with the responsibility of investigating the menace and prosecuting offenders. The Unit was to collaborate with the Lagos State Child Abuse and Gender based violence unit of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the relevant department of the Justice Ministry with a view to meting out appropriate punishment to offenders, provide medical care where necessary and in some cases, rehabilitate the survivors through adequate counseling.
Whereas, some experts have described these set of persons as “psychologically imbalanced and needing psycho-therapy”, others say they possess “substantial degree of animal instincts in their hormones and therefore, see nothing wrong in their indulgence; yet others say pedophiles are “those adults who were not socialized as a child and therefore, grew up with bruised ego. The act is therefore, an aspect of personality disorder in adults as against conduct disorder in children. Sexual gravitation towards minors is therefore, one of their traits.”
Whatever, semantics that could have been ascribed to describe this vile against the girl child, what is deducible from this distasteful sexuality is that perpetrators are beside themselves. There is therefore, need on the part of the government for stiffer punishment for whoever is culpable of this crime to serve as deterrent.
Our investigation reveals that within a space of 6 months- December 2018 and May 2019, no fewer than 32 cases of defilements of minors by adults were reported to the Police in Lagos State. Whereas, some have been charged to court and undergoing prosecution, others are being investigated. Perhaps, a disturbing aspect of this nasty evolving scenario is that most of the defilements were done by custodians of these minors whilst others lured them with as little as N50 note or N10 worth biscuit to achieve their animal instinct. For instance, in one of the cases, an apparent sexually perverse 43 year-old Islamic teacher identified as Mallam Abdulsalam Salaudeen broke down in an uncontrollable tears at the Gender Unit of the Lagos State Police Command Ikeja, after Police operatives confronted him with a sex-tape where he was forcefully inserting his huge manhood into the tiny anus of a 5 year-old girl. Sources said the little girl (names withheld) was kept under the custody of the randy Alfa who lives on 16, Awoyeni Street Igando, Ikotun Lagos; undergoing Islamic studies unknown to her parents that he had a different agenda off his sleeves. It was however, not clear how often Mallam Salaudeen had had forceful carnal knowledge of the little girl but Police sources told CrimeWorld that an unnamed neighbor who perhaps, had knowledge of the irrepressible sexual urge in the Islamic teacher and who watched the unholy act with the little girl recorded it and brought the tape to the Police. The Lagos State Police Public Relations officer, CSP Chike Oti (then) who confirmed the ugly incident in a statement said upon watching the sex-tape, the Commissioner of Police CP Imohimi Edgal (then) ordered the immediate arrest of the randy Muslim cleric. The statement: “On Friday, December 28, 2018, a good Nigerian visited the headquarters of the Lagos State Police Command with a video evidence of an Islamic cleric, aka Alfa, having anal sex with a five-year-old girl that he was supposed to be teaching Islamic studies. The complainant sought audience with the state Commissioner of Police, CP Edgal Imohimi. The CP, after watching the heart-rending video, directed the command’s undercover operatives attached to the State Intelligence Bureau to immediately arrest the culprit and hand him over to the Gender Section for detailed investigation. The operatives went in search of the Alfa and arrested him near a mosque in the Igando area of the state. He was taken from there to the Gender Unit, where the Officer-in-Charge, ASP (Mrs.) Abimbola Williams, confronted him with the video of him defiling the child by penetrating her anus and private parts. On seeing himself captured like an actor in a movie, the suspect broke down in tears and owned up to the crime. He later gave his name as Abdulsalam Salaudeen, a 43-year-old man resident at 16, Awoyemi Street, Igando Road, Ikotun, Lagos. The case will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.”
Continuing, the statement added, “The CP, while commending the courageous act of the good Nigerian, has warned parents and guardians to keep constant watch over their children and wards. Nobody should be trusted. Be friends with your children and let them be free to share things with you. Do not cover up any crime, no matter who is involved. Raise the alarm on child molesters in your neighbourhood so they can face the law and others nursing such thoughts can be deterred.”
In a related development, a 40-year old man who gave his name as Samuel Balogun was arrested after he was caught having sex with his neighbour’s 12-year old daughter inside an uncompleted building in Lagos. Reports say that the gory sight took place on Ademola Abiola Street in Alakuko area of Lagos where they resided. CrimeWorld scooped that Balogun lured the victim to the uncompleted building and was forcing his manhood into the little girls vagina when a neighbour was attracted by the girl’s scream of either pain or for help and consequently raised the alarm which attracted others within the vicinity. The suspect was immediately apprehended and handed over to the Police at Alakuko Division where the J.S.S.2 school girl claimed that she was lured into the act by the suspect who promised to give her N1000. The matter was then transferred to the Gender Section of the Police Command for further interrogation on the matter. Parading the suspect, the Commissioner of Police CP Imohimi Edgal described Balogun as “One of those animals in human form who chose to satisfy their sexual urge with innocent girls; girls young enough to be their granddaughters, ” adding that he would be charged to court at the end of investigation. It was not however; clear whether Balogun was arraigned because nothing more was heard about the matter as of the time of this publication.
In yet another bizarre scenario, a 23 year old man identified as Sunkanmi Akinsero, the son of a landlady was reportedly caught having carnal knowledge of a 5 year-old girl. The incident happened on 47, Erede Street, Ekerube in Abaranje area of Ikotun, Lagos where parents of the victim lived as tenants. Sources said Sunkanmi allegedly lured the little girl into his room with a N10 worth biscuit and successfully had carnal knowledge of her and warned that she would die if she ever tells her parents or anybody for that matter. However, the lid was blown open the following day when the mother of the girl was bathing her in preparation for school and the girl was unusually tightening her legs and would not allow her mum to wash her private part as usual. Shocked at this development, the mum was said to have forced her daughter’s legs apart for examination only to discover that she had been penetrated. She was said to have questioned her little daughter on what happened to her but because she had earlier been warned not to reveal the act, broke down in tears chanting “I will die if I tell you mummy, I will die if I tell you mummy.” She however, opened up that “It was uncle Sunkanmi who did it yesterday”; after the mother assured her that she will not die but live. The matter was promptly reported at the Ikotun Police Division for enforcement. However, the suspect having smelt the rat disappeared into thin air before the long arm of the law could catch up with him; causing the Police to declare him wanted. As of the time of filing this report, the Police had yet to arrest the suspect whose where about could not be determined. When CrimeWorld however, visited the Ikotun Division, the DPO CSP Abubakar Tsav(then) was not on ground to comment on the incident but a Police source said there was a case of rape and threat to life reported by a parent of a 5 year old girl adding that “We are looking for the perpetrator of the crime who upon knowing that the matter had been reported to us resorted to threatening the parents.”
In a similar development, an Ogba Magistrate Court sitting before Magistrate Mrs. B.O .Osunsanmi ruled sine die pending an advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecution DPP on a defile case involving one Saviour Udoh, a 40 year old gateman attached to one of the Pentecostal Churches in Ikeja, Lagos and a 5 year-old girl and daughter of a member of the church. Report from the MAN Center Division Ikeja obtained by CrimeWorld said Udoh lured the little girl who strayed out of the church during an evening service into the back of the church located on 19, Oshifila Street Anifowese, a somewhat slum in the city of Ikeja and penetrated her; warning her not to tell her mother. Udoh was said to have bought the girl a bottle of mineral drink at the end of the rump. However, the burble later burst while the mother was bathing her little daughter and discovered semen and blood stain on her pant. She was said to have screamed on the strange discovery; forcing her daughter to confess that “When I came out of the church auditorium to buy biscuit, Udoh, the gateman held my hand and took me to the back and dark side of the church and did it to me and bought a bottle of Fanta for me. He even said I should not tell anybody because if I did, Jesus Christ would kill me.”
*A Pastor arrested for sleeping with little boys and girls in Ejigbo area of Lagos…
Upon reporting the matter to the Police, the DPO, a CSP (names withheld) led the arrest of Saviour Udoh and later transferred the matter to the Command Headquarters Ikeja upon which the Commissioner of Police CP Imohim Edgal (then) mandated the Gender Unit to investigate the matter and immediately charge Udoh to court. At the Gender Unit Udoh was said to have confessed to the crime but blamed the devil for his act.
The same Ogba Magistrate Court presided by Magistrate Mrs. B.O. Osunsanmi also committed one Adeyemi Adejumo, 38 to prison custody pending DPP’s advice for allegedly defiling a 2 year toddler. The bizarre incident reports say, took place on Ajose Lane off Ike Olu Street, Idi-oro area of Mushin, Lagos. According to Police sources, the victim was said to have lured the little girl who is said to be bigger than her age into his apartment with biscuit, removed her underwear and placed her on his lap; gradually thrusting his manhood into her vagina. It was learnt that the mother of the girl started searching for her baby and traced her to the suspect’s room and upon opening the door met her daughter in an uncompromising posture with the Osun State born 38 year-old furniture maker and bachelor. The distraught mother promptly raised the alarm and the man was apprehended and taken to the Police station where he was later transferred to the Gender Unit of the Command Headquarters, Ikeja for further interrogation and prosecution. Refusing to take his plea, the Magistrate ordered that he should be remanded in prison custody and referred the case file to the DPP for advice; saying “The accused person deserved to be kept out of the midst of decent people for indulging such an unwholesome act.” The matter was therefore, adjourned till February 11, 2019 for mention.
Whereas, the two above instances are before the court, the same could not clearly be said of another 50 year-old Lagos socialite and proprietor of a popular school located on Aderenle Close off Greenland Street Shasha, Lagos, Mr. Babaniyi Elijah who defiled another 2 year old toddler, a pupil of his school. It was informed that the Police attached to Shasha Division arrested the suspect after a test conducted at Mirabel Centre revealed that the little girl had been violated and defiled severally. According to sources, the parents of the girl actually entrusted the survivor to the care of the said Mr. Elijah, who usually drive down to their home every morning to pick the girl and bring her back after school hours. However, the matter became public knowledge after the girl was brought home as usual one day and the mother was bathing her and she cried sharply when her mother tucked her hand on the surface of her vagina. Surprised at this, the visibly shocked mother was said to have complained to her husband who agreed that the toddler be taken for medical examination following which it was confirmed that the little baby had been defiled. CrimeWorld scooped that when Elijah was invited at the Shasha Division to come and shed more light on what could have happened to the little girl kept under his custody, he refused to honour the invitation but instead, went to the ‘Area M’ Commander who oversees the activities of the Shasha Division to the consternation of the DPO CSP Oke Oluwafulayo. The Area Commander, reports say, then summoned the Investigating Police Officer, IPO, one Sergeant Abigail to her office and asked her to take the suspect to the Division, record his statement under caution and return the case file to her, (the Area Commander’s) office. The action of Mr. Elijah and the corresponding role played by the Area Commander spewed controversies among parents who wondered why the Police of such caliber could have been compromised in such a matter; more so, when the Area Commander is a woman and mother. They argued that the matter was supposed to have been transferred to the Gender Unit at the Command Headquarters, Ikeja which was emplaced to oversee such matters. But parents of the survivor have vowed to get justice for their defiled toddler in spite what it might cost. It is not however; clear whether any legal action had been taken against Mr. Elijah as of the time of this report as checks at the Gender Unit showed that no such case was ever reported.
What the law says and its implementation
Even though, this inglorious sexual adventure has its attendant punishments clearly spelt out in chapter 21 (offence against morality) of the criminal code, laws of the federation of Nigeria, its implementation raises question mark in a typical clime like ours with faulty criminal justice system. In most of the cases highlighted above, the public is only informed when the suspect (s) is arrested and perhaps, arraigned. Details of prosecution and conviction (if any) of offenders to serve as deterrent to would be breach of the law are not made known. It is either the matter is not diligently prosecuted and the accused persons are kept in the awaiting trial section of the prison for as long as possible and later find their way out of prison custody or the Directorate of Public Prosecution DPP advice which is to aid prosecution is never gotten and the accused person is perpetually kept in prison custody without trials. A most vexing phenomenon is the inability of witnesses to corroborate the testimony of the commission of the crime, largely because of fear of the unknown. For instance, section 218 says, “Any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of thirteen years is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for life, with or without caning. Any person who attempts to have unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of thirteen years -is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years, with or without caning. A prosecution for either of the offences defined in this section shall be begun within two months after the offence is committed. A person cannot he convicted of either of the offences defined in this section upon the uncorroborated testimony of one witness.
However, justice seemed to be beckoning on survivors of these unnatural sex escaped with a bill seeking for imprisonment, register and monitoring of sex offenders against minors before the National Assembly. The bill which was sponsored by a Peoples Democratic Party PDP legislator, Ochuglegor Idagbo from Cross River State in 2018 is said to have passed second reading. It is seeking for an “act to provide for the imprisonment, registration and monitoring of persons that have been convicted of sexual assault against children under 18 years, the notification of law enforcement agencies, owners of schools, child care services, social workers, employers and the general public as a caution against recurrence of sexual offenses and to maintain a register of sexual offenders in a designated registry”. It is therefore, hoped that an enactment and strict enforcement of this law was bound to deter would be sex offenders in our society.
*Another suspect caught pants down with a 13 year old boy somewhere in Ejibgo and also alleged to have infested the victim with HIV virus…
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