• Men accused of rape by own daughters
By Esther Onyegbula
All over the world, there is increasing incidence of incest with fathers having carnal knowledge of their biological daughters.
More worrisome is the fact that the ugly trend is becoming a routine in this part of the world as hardly a week passes without reports of fathers raping their daughters, mostly teenagers, and, sometimes, in the process, impregnating them.
Across major cities and slums, there are tales everywhere of the shameful act. While some victims speak out, others don’t until it is late because of fear, shame and stigma.
Unfortunately, only a few suspects are prosecuted as others go unpunished.
And for those who are prosecuted, the cases are sometimes struck out for lack of diligent prosecution, or the victims or witnesses fail to testify.
A few weeks ago, Ogun State Police Command arrested a 45-year-old man, Idowu Owolabi, for allegedly raping his 21-year-old daughter.
Owolabi, who has three wives, was accused of having carnal knowledge of his daughter since last year.
The suspect was arrested on January 28, 2019, following a complaint lodged by the victim at the Divisional Police Headquarters, Oja-Odan in Yewa South Local Government Area of the state.
“The first time my father raped me was when I followed him to the farm at Fagboun village. My father forcefully had carnal knowledge of me right there on the farm sometime in March 2018. Since then, my father had continuously been having unlawful carnal knowledge of me with a threat that he would kill me if I dared to tell anybody about it. It was like living in the house of horror”, she narrated.
On interrogation, the suspect confessed to the crime but blamed it on the devil.
Confirming the incident, the spokesperson for the police in Ogun, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, said father and daughter were resident at Papa Olosun area of Oja-Odan.
After receiving the report, the Oja-Odan DPO, CSP Olayemi Jacob, led detectives to the Owolabi’s residence, where he was arrested.
“However, the Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, ordered the immediate transfer of the case to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for proper investigation and possible prosecution of the suspect”, Oyeyemi said.
The case is not entirely different from another which happened in January 2018 but, this time, in Lagos, where a father, Segun Durojaiye, in collaboration with his brother, Emmanuel Durojaiye, was arrested by the police for allegedly raping his 16-year-old daughter for about four years.
The suspects were charged to court for defilement and incest before a Yaba Chief Magistrate’s Court.
Segun was alleged to have started sleeping with his daughter in 2014 after she confided in him about her uncle’s inappropriate show of affection.
According to him, after the death of the victim’s stepmother in the same year, she was asked to go and stay with her uncle who, it was alleged, began to molest her sexually.
The victim broke her silence after she had allegedly had a series of abortions and was losing weight from the trauma.
The case was reported at a police station and the suspects were immediately arrested.
Segun was resident at Baba-Benja Street, Oreyo area of Ikorodu, Lagos State while Emmanuel lived at 10, Durojaiye Street, also in the same area.
Dad sleeps with daughter, impregnates her
In another case in Benin-City, a 17-year-old girl, Gift Alonge, who was allegedly impregnated by her father, Jacob Alonge, lost her life in a car accident alongside three others.
Gift was allegedly impregnated in 2017 by Alonge who then forced her to procure crude abortion before impregnating her again in 2018.
The sexually abused victim, her uncle, Mr. Ukere Adagbogu, and two members of Brave Heart Initiative, BHI, Rhoda Braimoh and Promise Ezekiel, lost their lives in an accident while on their way from Igarra to attend a court sitting in Benin-City to get justice.
Gift’s father, who made a confessional statement at Ososo Police Division, Benin-City ahead of being arraigned in court, and had pleaded guilty to the charges of rape and procuring illegal abortion, immediately changed his plea of ‘guilty’ to ‘not guilty’ when it was clear that the key witnesses in the case were no longer alive to testify on January 16, 2019, when the court was to pass its sentence.
Before then, specifically in 2014, a 14-year-old girl narrated how her father allegedly pounced on her and raped her until she could no longer walk upright at the Oyingbo area of Lagos.
The victim, simply identified as Uzor, said her father raped her on December 2, 2014 at their home located at 4, Akintunde Street, Oyingbo until she found it difficult to walk.
The victim said the suspect raped her around 6:30am after she went to live with him.
Uzor explained that she had been living with an aunt at Ikorodu after the demise of her mother until her father came to take her away.
It was within few days of living with her father, according to her, that the man raped her.
Fighting back tears, Uzor said: “I wanted to shout, but his weight was too much for me.
“My father is fat and I was struggling to breath. I was struggling to push him off.”
According to Uzor, after her mother died, she went to stay with her mum’s elder sister at Ogijo area of Ikorodu. The woman was expected to assist the girl in furthering her education, but she did not.
The victim added: “My aunt did not enrol me in school. I used to hawk pepper and tomato for her. My father was not pleased that my aunt did not enrol me in school. “He threatened to take me away. He eventually came and took me to his house.”
Recalling how she was raped, she said: “I was in the room sleeping when my father called me to warm soup in the kitchen.
“Few minutes later, he called me to meet him in the bedroom. I thought he wanted to punish me when he called me because I was always scared of him and my step mother. They treated me bad.”
Man tests daughters’ virginity
In a 2015 case, a 40-year-old driver, Okon Jimmy Amah, from Mkpat Enin Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, who allegedly turned his two teenage daughters into sex objects, always raping them without using condoms, said he was checking if the girls were still virgins.
According to one of the girls who previously lived with her mother in Benin-City, Edo State, until April 9, 2015, when she decided to visit her father in Uyo, it was after she got there that her father turned her into his lover.
She said: “My father started soliciting for sex from me. In fact, that April, my father forcefully had sexual intercourse with me in our small room. He had sex with me in the middle of the night. He has had sex with me several times. I have lost count of the number of times he had sex with me”.
Apparently sick of the life she had been subjected to and hungry for a person to share her pains, the victim broke her silence and poured out her heart to a neighbour who took the matter to Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare.
The second daughter alleged that she was 11 years old when her father started having sex with her.
She said: “My father returned home one day and called me to a quiet place. He asked me whether I had ever had sex with a man before. I said no. He said he would be the first man to have sex with me.
“I was shocked. I wanted to say something, but he shouted at me to shut up. When it was midnight, my father raped me. I cried and felt ashamed. He raped me, not once, not twice. He raped me several times. One day, my mother heard me crying, she came to me. I told her the little I could. My mum was angry. “But my father didn’t stop having sex with me. My mum knows about it”.
According to Amah, he continued to have sex with his daughters because his second wife, who lived with him, denied him of sex.
“Yes, I slept with my daughters in the bedroom room while my wife was sleeping in the sitting room. My wife was down with malaria. She had been ill for a week and was denying me sex. That is why I solicited for sex from my daughters”, the suspect said.
“Apart from the fact that my second wife starved me of sex, I suspected that my daughters weren’t virgins, but when I tried to do it with one of them, I discovered that she had never had sex. At that point, I withdrew”.
Meanwhile when Amah was arraigned in court on a three – count charge of incest, carnal knowledge and assault, contrary to Section 242 and 364 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Akwa Ibom State, the case was struck out for lack of diligent prosecution.
When the matter, with suit number HU/65 C/2016, came up before Justice Okon Okon of the State High Court in Uyo, on July 14, 2016, there was no witness to testify against the accused person.
Defence counsel, Harrison Ernest, subsequently argued that the matter be struck out.
Devil at work
Suspected incestuous fathers sometimes blame the devil for the act.
For instance, 41-year-old Sikiru Odejide, who was arrested by the police in Ogun in June 2017 for allegedly sleeping with his 13-year-old daughter since December 2016, said the devil was responsible for his plight.
Odejide said, “It was the devil that led me into sleeping with my daughter”.
Police spokesperson Oyeyemi disclosed that the arrest of the suspected randy father came after a complaint lodged by the victim’s mother, who had been separated from the man.
The victim’s mother, according to the spokesperson, said her daughter came to her house to inform her that her father had been having carnal knowledge of her since December 2016 with a threat to kill her if she dared to tell anybody about it.
“She further complained to her mother that she could no longer bear the frequent sexual assault from her father, hence she decided to inform her mother”.
In another case reported in Niger State, the police arrested one Basiru Audu for allegedly sexually abusing his own daughter in his house located at London Street, Minna, the state capital.
30-year-old Audu was accused of sneaking into the children’s room and sexually abusing the girl when the wife travelled to their home town, Daura, Katsina State.
The suspect, in a statement he made to the police, said that he had been having sex with underage girls before he sexually abused his own daughter.
“I blame my wife for not being around whenever I needed sex. She travels a lot and that is why I had to sleep with my daughter; what a shameful thing”, he said. “That night, I had the urge to have sex and since my wife was not around, I had no option but to sleep with my daughter to ease off tension”.
He was arrested after neighbours observed that the victim was walking awkwardly and, on inquiry, were informed by the girl that her father “put something in her private part.”
Niger State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, Muhammad Abubakar, said the suspect confessed to the crime and regretted his action.
In yet another incident in Lagos, the police arrested one Uchenna Tony Ehumadu for allegedly raping his 15-yr-old daughter after his wife caught him in the act.
Ehumadu’s wife told the police that whenever she was on night duty, her hubby mostly used the opportunity to have sex with their daughter.
In a related case, in December 2018, the police, also in Lagos, paraded 58-year-old Johnson Okon who allegedly raped his daughter when his wife went out.
The 14-year-old victim (names withheld), who confided in her mother after the alleged incident, narrated, “It was in our house at Charismatic Road, Berger, Ikorodu that my father raped me. My mother was not around when the incident happened, so when she returned, I confided in her so that she could take action.
“But to my greatest dismay, my mother blamed me, scolded me and warned me seriously not to mention anything like that to anyone. I really don’t know if she didn’t believe me or she was trying to protect my father.
“So I had to run away from the house, to where I felt safe.”
Like the 14-year-old, many sexual abused victims flee from home to avoid their fathers.
One of such victims, Timothy Idowu, a teenager, had to pack out of her father’s apartment in Aradagun, Badagry to put up with a family friend in Ikotun area of Lagos who contacted the police.
The victim said she could not bear it anymore as her father raped her several times. She said anytime the family slept at night, the father would sneak into her room and rape her.
The victim, who was in Senior Secondary Class 2 at the time of the incident, stated, “My father deflowered me several months ago and he had been raping me since then. Whenever he did it, he would clean up the mess and warn me not to tell anybody.”
On Thursday, June 23, 2016, Idowu was arrested by the police.
Stakeholders are worried about the rampant cases of incest in the country.
Edo State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Magdalene Ohenhen, for instance, expressed concern over rising cases of men having sex with their daughters.
Ohenhen, who spoke during a protest organised in Benin-City to denounce the scourge, said, “It’s a very sad situation. Edo State is becoming something else and the earlier we stop it, the better for us. It is becoming a normal thing in Edo State for men to impregnate their own daughters”.
She cited the case of a man who slept with his own daughter for over 10 years before the case was reported.
Urging men to desist from the act, she added, “It is time we stopped this insanity. Edo State forbids it, it is a taboo. We are begging Edo men to stop sleeping with their daughters, it is an abomination”.
Also speaking on the issue, a former Public Relations Officer, Zone 2 Command, CSP Dolapo Badmus, said, “Incest is against the law of the land. A man who is caught having sex with his daughter can be charged with incest, defilement and sexual harassment. We have arrested a number of them, charged them to court while some of them are under prosecution.
“I don’t agree with the school of thought that incest is on the increase. What we have is awareness; children are now exposed and they understand how to go about their cases.
“Also there are NGOs everywhere providing people with the opportunity to report these cases to the appropriate quarters. Also the accessibility of the police is another factor. Victims can easily access the police. It is awareness that has increased.”