An electrician on Baale Street, in the Ijora Badia area of Lagos State, has been arrested by the police for allegedly molesting his neighbour’s daughter.
The suspect, Emeka Okoroafor, reportedly lured the primary two pupil into his apartment twice and raped her at knifepoint.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Okoroafor sexually assaulted the 13-year-old for the first time on Thursday, April 19, after he allegedly asked her to bring a bucket into his room.
The following day, when the victim was playing with her friends, 36-year-old Okoroafor reportedly took her into his apartment and raped her again.
It was gathered that the girl’s mother, who had gone to a mosque to observe Asri (4pm prayer) when the incident happened on Friday, returned home and saw her daughter’s slippers at the suspect’s doorstep.
The mother, Asabi Abubakar, said she became suspicious and knocked at the door, but she did not get any response.
She said, “That Friday, I went to observe Asri. I came back to pick something in my room, when I saw my daughter’s slippers in front of Emeka’s (Okoroafor) room. The door to his apartment was locked. I sat in front of the apartment. When my son came, he knocked at his door, but he did not open the door.
“My son peeped into his apartment and saw her under his mattress. We saw sperm on her lap and private parts. I asked my daughter what she was doing with Emeka, she said she was playing hide-and-seek with her friends when Emeka dragged her into his room. She said he showed her a knife, covered her mouth and had sex with her. He is an electrician.”
The woman said the case was reported at the Ijora Police Station and Okoroafor was arrested, adding that the suspect told the police that he and the girl were lovers.
“He said she was his girlfriend and that he had slept with her four times. But my daughter said it was twice – Thursday and Friday – and that he threatened to stab her if she revealed the secret. We took her to Mirabel Centre in Ikeja and it was confirmed that she was raped,” she said.
A neighbour, Adeyinka Olowogbowo, said the girl was at home on those days because the school just resumed and her parents believed that there would not be major academic activities at the school.
“While we were knocking at the door, he did not open the door. He kept the girl under his mattress. She was crying. She said he threatened him with a knife. We were told at the Mirabel Centre that she had lost her virginity,” she added.
The victim, who spoke in Yoruba, said she could not cry for help because the suspect covered her mouth and threatened to stab her.
“I am in primary two. On Thursday (April 19), he asked me to bring a bucket for him. He said he wanted to use it to bath. As I wanted to give him, he took me into his room and brought out a knife and threatened to kill me. He removed my pants, covered my mouth with a piece of cloth and slept with me. On Friday, as I was playing, he took me inside again and did the same thing.”
A child rights organisation, which is following the case, Esther Child Rights Foundation, said it had been brought to the attention of the Office of the Public Defender, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, for proper prosecution.
The head of the organisation, Esther Ogwu, urged parents, especially those who have bachelors as neighbours, to be vigilant about the movement of their children.
She said, “At this point, I think all the parents should be careful because things like this do happen. They should be wary of neighbours who are bachelors. Rape is very rampant these days and as such, it should be taken seriously. We need more awareness.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Chike Oti, said the suspect had been charged to court on two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse.
The charges read in part, “That you, Emeka Okoroafor, on April 20, 2018 at about 4pm, on Baale Street, Ijora Badia, Lagos, in the Apapa Magisterial District, did unlawfully have sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail by the presiding magistrate, Mrs. Oni Ajayi, in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.
The case was adjourned till May 24, 2018 while the defendant was remanded in Kirikiri prison pending when his bail conditions would be perfected.
Culled from PUNCH