Bola (not real name) was sleeping in her room when suddenly, she felt a strange movement on her body.
Upon opening her eyes, she discovered that it was her biological father who was naked; and before she could say anything, the deed had been done.
The 14-year-old girl was reportedly raped by her father, who also asked his friends to take turns on her after collecting money from them.
The victim said she did not know how to cope with the stigma as neighbours and friends had heard about the incident.
She also said she felt like committing suicide.
Bola lost her virginity to her 49-year-old father, who also allegedly impregnated her.
She said she was in Junior Secondary School 2 when her father deflowered her, adding that he continued sleeping with her since then until he was arrested.
“I was born in 2007 to Mr and Mrs Amoda. I am from Isara Remo, Ogun State. My mother divorced my father in 2020. Since then, I had been living with my father, who had been sleeping with me to date.
“The first day he slept with me, I was in a pool of blood and groaning with pain. Each time I wanted to shout, my father would cover my mouth with his hands and warn me not to make any noise.
“There was no one to confide in, except one of my friends in school. She was the one that reported the matter to a human rights body. One day, my father’s friend, Ahmed Ogunkoya, called me that he wanted to discuss something with me and when I got to his house, he raped me. Also, Joshua Olaniran, who saw me with Mr Ogunkoya, called me to see him and he also raped me.
“My father did not take care of me since my mother left him,” Bola said amid indignation.
Bola is just one of many victims of incestuous rape in Ogun State, where many caregivers have turned to predators.
Statistics released by the Ogun State Police Command give credence to claims that biological and stepfathers, teachers and clerics are mostly culprits.
Releasing the data to Saturday PUNCH, the immediate past Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the command had arrested and prosecuted a good number of such suspects.
Abimbola gave what appeared to be a litany of the sordid acts during an interview.
The data started with the case of a 64-year-old man, Ayotunde Taiwo, who reportedly defiled a two-year-old girl-child.
This was followed by the case of a 30-year-old father, Mfon Jeremiah, who was arrested for impregnating his 13-year-old daughter.
There was also the case of a 40-year-old father, Taofeek Sulaeman, who defiled his 13-year-old stepdaughter.
The list continued with a 49-year-old randy father, identified as Amoda, who defiled and impregnated his 14-year-old daughter, Bola.
According to the former police spokesperson, Bola, who was a product of a broken home, had been living with her father for some years before he took advantage of her.
The shocking part of the story, Oyeyemi said, “is that the father invited men to sleep with her daughter in exchange for money before his arrest.”
Then enter the case of Pastor Israel Adebayo.
Abimbola narrated, “A 38-year-old pastor, Israel Adebayo, reportedly defiled a 14-year-old member of his church.”
Israel, the ex-PPRO revealed, is the General Overseer of the Beloved Chapel at 9, Iyaniwura Street, off Owonikoko Street, Agbado, Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State.
“He was reported by the mother of the victim that while she travelled, her daughter, who happened to be a choir member in the church, went to the church and was lured by the pastor into his room where he forcefully had carnal knowledge of her.
“A herbalist, Samson Ogundele, from Oja-Odan in Yewa-North Local Government Area, was arrested for having unlawful carnal knowledge of a young girl who came to his house for a consultation.
“Also, a 64-year-old man, Ayotunde Taiwo, reportedly defiled a two-year-old girl. Another man, aged 52 years, Jimoh Mutaliu, reportedly impregnated and procured abortions for his 16-year-old niece at Adatan, in the Abeokuta South Local Government Area,” he added.
Abimbola further revealed that a 54-year-old pastor, Niyi Omowodun, reportedly defiled a 12-year-old girl in Ota in the Ado-Odo LGA of the state. The suspect was an acclaimed pastor at Helmet of Life International Church.
“There was also a village head, Rasheed Sholabi, the Baale of Oose Agbedu Ajibawo, in Owode-Yewa area of the state, who raped his 15-year-old biological daughter.
“The village head was arrested when the victim reported that her father had been having sex with her since she was 11 years old as a result of which she now finds it difficult to control her urinary system,” Abimbola said.
In the league of the clerics is also one Prophet Ebenezer Ajigbotolwa.
Abimbola said, “An acclaimed prophet, Ebenezer Ajigbotolwa, founder and General Overseer of the Church of the Lord, Olomore Abeokuta, reportedly defiled and impregnated two underage sisters.
“The incident happened when one of the victims fell sick and was taken to the church for spiritual healing. But the pastor took advantage of her sickness and asked her entire family of six to move into the church premises to avoid being afflicted with the same sickness.
“There and then, the prophet reportedly started having sex with the girls who were 16 and 13 years of age. The pastor impregnated the two underage girls and went on to procure an abortion for them in a private clinic.
“An Arabic and Islamic teacher, Ismaila Saheed, 38, and one Toliha Sabith, 20, were also involved. The duo reportedly defiled a 15-year-old girl. The incident occurred in Mowe in the Obafemi-Owode LGA of the state.
“In Odeda LGA, there was a 60-year-old man, Taofeek Shotayo, who lured his 10-year-old stepdaughter to his room with N600 and had carnal knowledge of her. We also had the case of a 33-year-old man, Olabowale Samuel, who reportedly had carnal knowledge of a seven-year-old girl.”
One disturbing case was that of a 41-day-old baby that was allegedly raped by a 25-year-old neighbour.
From the statistics released, it is apparent that sexual abuse of girls in Ogun State has got to an alarming proportion.
Findings also show that even siblings and schoolmates are not left out in the sordid act.
Girls no longer safe
A survey carried out in three of the six South-West states by a non-governmental organisation indicated that girls were not safe.
The group, Centre for Women’s Health and Information, called for serious steps to bring an end to the evil perpetrated against minors.
The NGO also recently presented a report of a two-year project on ‘Strengthening Access to Community-Based Psychosocial Support for Survivors of Violence Against Women and Girls’.
The report included extending help to persons with disabilities in Ogun, Oyo and Osun states.
The report stated that in the South-West states of Ogun, Oyo and Osun, incest, use of diabolical means among pupils for sex and domestic violence were rampant.
Presenting the report, the Director of Administration, Atinuke Odukoya, lamented that in Ogun State, the issue of gender-based violence within the school setting, especially the use of diabolical means by secondary school students to obtain sex from either colleagues or teachers, was alarming.
She said results from the three states showed that many girls and children were going through severe gender-based violence.
“In Osun, the challenge faced the most is incest. In Ogun, it is the issue of sexual violence among school children using diabolical means while in Oyo, it is more of domestic violence and incest,” she added.
Irked by the development, the Ogun State Government said it had equipped some school girls with tear gas canisters against any incident of rape.
The Director of Women Empowerment Services in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Wonuola Kazeem, disclosed that 200 female students were given tear gas canisters as protection against rapists.
She said, “In higher institutions now, we have empowered girls with (tear gas) canisters that they can use to defend themselves because the occurrence of gender-based violence can’t continue in the state.
“We’ve been to 90 schools out of all the schools in Ogun State to empower them on gender-based violence and to reduce both harassment and bullying in schools. The government is making efforts to reduce gender-based violence in schools, and during our sensitisation in schools, we’ve equally educated them and empowered even the girls.”
The Chairperson of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, Ogun State chapter, Dr Oluwakemi Ayanleye, said rape cases were very high in Ogun State.
She said, “Almost on a daily basis, we get calls of reports on domestic violence or rape and so many others in Ogun State. At times, we read it on social media.
“It is not up to 100 in a month. But, what happens is that there are other bodies which delve into the cases. So, we get information on cases from them. I can only say almost on a daily basis, there is no day that we don’t get such reports on gender-based violence.”
While citing reported cases of rape in the state, the FIDA chairperson said the body was aware of the man who raped his daughter and also asked his friends to have their turns with her and collected money, until the girl got pregnant.
She said the matter had been taken to court.
“There is another one where a woman reported to us that her husband was defiling their daughter. I asked the person to come over to my office. Later, she said the family had settled the matter. She told me that the daughter had hinted her before, but she shut the daughter up, thinking that she was trying to be mischievous. When she actually found out, she took her children away.
“Now, for us to take the necessary steps and get the man arrested, probably prosecuted, the lady was no longer forthcoming. When we called her she didn’t come, and so, there wasn’t much that we could do,” she added.
According to Oluwakemi, society is to blame because of the drawback in the prosecution of suspects.
“Yes, some of the problems we see oftentimes are whenever a case is reported to the police, there are compromises.
“For instance, the father of a three-year-old girl that was sexually abused collected N200,000 and the police collected N80,000 to get him a lawyer.
“And the mother came to complain that she was not given a share of the money. When the father called me to ignore the case, I told him, this is not only about your daughter or grandchild but other three-year-old girls in the community are at risk,” she revealed.
Expert attributes rape to mental disorder
The Secretary-General of the Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria, Dr Abayomi Olajide, noted that rape could be a result of a mental disorder.
Olajide explained that the stigma of rape could be overcome by the victims when given proper medical attention.
He said, “Rape is an extraordinary psychological stress or that is sufficient to cause stress-related disorders, including acute stress reaction, acute stress disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It can also function as a non-specific precipitant to several functional psychiatric disorders, including but not limited to depression, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders and substance use disorders.
“The stigma associated with rape comes in several forms such as public stigma, structural stigma, and probably more importantly, self-stigma. While it may be impossible for the victim to make significant changes in any other aspects of stigma, self-stigma is mostly under the control of the victim.
“The victim can be helped to see himself/herself as not being less of a person after the incident than previously. The negative stereotypical beliefs associated with rape can be directly addressed to encourage positive attitudes towards self and in turn, eliminate the tendency towards social exclusion.”