|Victor, the suspected rapist|
Trouble started in the home of Mrs. Grace Adebiyi (not real name) in Akowonjo area of Lagos when she noticed a strange discharge from the private part of her eight-year-old daughter, as she slept on the night of Sunday April 12, 2015. “I would not have been worried if not because that I had noticed she was walking awkwardly when we were going to church earlier in the day. But when I asked what was wrong with her, she said nothing,” the woman said.
But that night, as Comfort (not real name) slept, her mother decided to investigate what was wrong. “It was then I noticed my daughter’s private part was chafed. I was worried, what could have happened to her?”Adebiyi said. The worried mother roused her daughter and asked her what had been happening to her but the girl told her nothing happened.
Adebiyi said, “I told her to go back to sleep but my mind was not at rest. The following morning, I asked her again if anybody had been fingering her and if that was what caused the way she was chafed and could not walk properly. She told me nothing of such happened. “I then threatened to take her to the police station. That was when she told me that she could only tell me if I would not beat her and if I would not confront the person who did it. When she told me, I nearly collapsed.”
The name the little girl mentioned was that of their 45-year-old tenant, Victor Aneke.
Before the incident, Mrs. Adebiyi and the Anekes, who had been living in the house since 1999, had been having a running battle over unpaid rent. Victor admitted to PUNCH that he owed at least N200,000 in rent backlog. Also, Mrs. Adebiyi said when she noticed that her daughter was too frequent in her tenant’s apartment, she warned her to stop going there. “But I was not worried about sexual abuse because I knew the man’s wife was around,” she said.
The house is a kind commonly called ‘face-me-I-face-you’ in Lagos. One of the apartments in the building is used by Mrs. Adebiyi and her children. Her husband has been away on a long trip for many months.
The woman said she did not know what to do, as she was afraid of confronting her tenant about such an allegation all alone. She notified child rights activists. When a test was conducted on the girl, a doctor at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Ikeja said that the girl had been raped a number of times.
Victor’s wife, Joy, was angry that her husband could be accused of such “dirty crime”. “How can she ask her daughter to lie against my husband just because she want us out of this house?” she said. “Let me tell you the truth, since my husband had an accident in March 2013, he has not had an erection.”
Her husband nodded as she made the revelation.
The case has been reported at the Ipaja Police Division. Victor who was initially arrested was released on bail on medical grounds. The police spokesperson, Mr. Kenneth Nwosu has said that investigation is still ongoing in the case and the suspect would be charged to court as soon as findings are complete.