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Rapists on rampage

Posted by By JOSSY IDAM on 2008/07/15 | Views: 1945 |

Rapists on rampage


Almost like an invading army, rapists are prowling the nooks and crannies of the country, raping 100 unsuspecting women weekly and even defiling baby girls. Worst still, some of the victims die or are left with physical hurt and psychological trauma for life.

• 13, 000 women fall victim, more in danger
• Bad spots identified
• Health experts offer counsel
• Safety tips - Parents


Almost like an invading army, rapists are prowling the nooks and crannies of the country, raping 100 unsuspecting women weekly and even defiling baby girls. Worst still, some of the victims die or are left with physical hurt and psychological trauma for life.


The reported rampant cases have erased the past report of a global human rights watchdog - Amnesty International - on Nigeria. According to the damning report, between 1999 and 2006, more than 13, 000 women were raped in the country.


Though the police and courts in the country have no comprehensive record of rape, an umbrella body of women activists in the country, Women Unity Forum (WUF) recently released another startling statistics, claiming that 300 girl kids were raped in Nigeria last year. The figure only represents reported cases.
At a function organised by the group in Ikeja, Lagos, Louisa Ono Elkhomu, a notable activist further revealed: “Many of the girl-children were raped at churches, mosques and compounds where they live.”


Crime and punishment
In law, rape is the criminal offence of forcing a woman to submit to sexual intercourse against her will. Section 357 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act (only applicable in Southern Nigeria) defines rape as “Any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent. If the consent is obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of false and fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act. Or in the case of a married woman, by inpersonating her husband, is guilty of an offence, which is called rape.”


According to the Criminal Code Act, anyone who runs foul of the law would be punished with life imprisonment, with or without caning. Going by the Criminal Code Act, section 359, the penalty for attempted rape is 14 years imprisonment, with or without caning.
The law also frowns and descends heavily on any man who rapes or defiles an under age girl-child. The Criminal Code Act, section 218 stipulates life imprisonment for anybody who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 13 years. Section 221 of the code states that anyone who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl who is above 13 but under 16 years of age will be liable for two years imprisonment, with or without caning. The same penalty is applicable to anyone who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman who is defective, say an idiot or imbecile.


Breaking silence
Sadly, victims of rape hardly report to the police or speak out. They suffer in silent rage, try to come to terms and move on with life. But Janet, a 16-year-old girl who was recently gang-raped with seven other women by 10 armed robbers has boldly revealed the sordid details. Janet recounted how a 10-man gang robbed and raped her and others at gunpoint, on Lagos-Benin road. The gangsters had ambushed her, her pregnant mother and seven other women.


The date was June 15. Janet and others boarded a bus going to Lagos from Agbor, Delta State. But on getting to a bad spot at Ore, Ondo State, 10 gangsters hijacked their bus and drove it to a ‘safe distance’ and ordered the passenger to lie face down.
After searching and dispossessing the passengers of their valuables, the choice than to surrender to several rounds of sex. I saw my pregnant mother being assaulted severally. I cried and cried but what could I have done? I was equally abused,” she said in utter disgust and self-pity.


In Lagos, a female banker with a popular bank on Victoria Island had a foretaste of hell recently. After a hard day’s job, she headed home for the day. She usually drove through the Third Mainland Bridge. But for inexplicable reason, her new Toyota Camry stalled on the bridge this particular day. It was already 8p.m and dark. She pulled up on the elbow of the bridge, got out of the car and tried to fiddle with the engine.


Two men suddenly appeared and offered to help her. Desperate as she seemed, she allowed them to do as they pleased. Just when she was trying to calm her nerves and reassure herself that the men were good Samaritans with good intentions, one of them pulled out a blade, dragged her into the car, tore her clothes and raped her. The other man tinkered with the engine and peered furtively on the ugly scene while pretending to be fixing whatever the problem with the car. The hoodlums took turns to have forceful sex with the woman.


Cars sped past but none stopped for what seemed an eternity to the woman. Greg and two of his friends were passing that direction after an evening out when they saw the scene and suspected something uncanny.
Greg, another regular user of that road, had driven past the Toyota Camry but impulsively reversed, telling his friends they should check out the problem with the lonely figure beside it.
As he pulled up, the man beside the car took to his heels, dogged speeding cars, jumped to the road divide and scampered to the other lane. But the rapist in the car with the woman could not escape. Greg and his friends dragged him out, beat him black and blue and dumped him in the lagoon.


With her clothes now in tatters, Greg lent the woman his jacket. The men touched a few things in the stalled car and it came alive. Weeping uncontrollably and shuddering, the women gave her residential address and was driven home. Before getting home, the mother of two called her house help and sent her and her children to a neighbour’s house. “Thank God, my husband is out of town. I can’t bear to see my children and maid see me in this state,” the woman was quoted as saying.


After thanking Greg and friends, Sunday Sun learnt she made monitory offer to her rescuers, not to talk about it. “I’m going to take care of myself. All I want to do now is to forget it. Please, help me not to talk about it. I’ll be okay…” the woman said, sobbing. Greg and co turned down her monitory “gift” and promised not to reveal her true identity.


Another rape victim, Jennifer Emmanuel was going to kill herself until a church, Synagogue, the Church of All Nations gave her a lifeline. She used to work in a factory along Limca Road, Isolo, Lagos. On her way home after closing late on a certain day last year, a gang of hoodlums pounced on her, dragged her to a dark corner of the road and took turns to rape her.


Months later, the hapless 18-year-old-girl discovered she was pregnant. Assisted by her friend Doyin, several attempts she made to terminate the pregnancy failed. Jennifer, a runaway from home was immediately cast adrift by Doyin and her family. They just couldn’t put up with her anymore. The homeless, pregnant girl tramped around for a while – prostituting to make ends meet.


When her time was due, she moved into an uncompleted building where she later delivered a baby boy.
Recalling her ordeal, she told Sunday Sun: “The boys rushed me as I was coming back from work that evening. They said I too de do shakara for dem plenty. They forced me. After it, some months passed and I became pregnant.”


Raped by their fathers
As reports reveal, some rapists are close relations of their victims. Readily in mind is the shocking story of a 15-year-old SSS1 student, Ogechi in Awka, Anambra State. The girl in April told Saturday Sun how her father, a court judge, drugged and raped her. “Earlier before I brought my mat to sleep in the parlour, he told me not to put on my undies, that I should be naked and that I should wear mini skirt that night but I refused. So, I went into my room and slept. I didn’t know what he did to me but in the morning, I found out that he robbed Vaseline all over my private part and I was feeling pains and there was blood in my private part,” she recalled.


To conceal the unholy act, Ogechi’s father later placed her on oath and probably used her for rituals. The scandal is still fresh in Awka. When the case came up in Anambra magistrate court, Ogechi’s father feigned illness and refused to appear in court. The last is yet to be heard of it.
In August 2006, a 17-year-old girl, Grace came to Sabo Police Division, Lagos and claimed that her father, Mr. Mba had raped her repeatedly. The man accused her of dating a church member and stealing N120 and N60. He allegedly took the JSS 11 student to a Guest House and defiled her. As reported in Daily Sun in 2006, Grace had said: “We got to a house and met a woman. She gave him a key and tissue. He took me into a room and asked me to undress, adding that I stole the money. All my life I have never stolen so I refused to pull off my clothes. He ordered me to lie down, I refused and he slapped me. He covered my mouth and pulled off his clothes. He laid on me and started doing it. After, he ordered me not to tell anybody.” It is still hazy how the case ended. It probably was treated and closed as a family matter.


Raped by grandpas, others
In January this year, a 70-year-old man, Thomas Inozureke reportedly raped a five-year-old girl in Yola, Adamawa state.
The state police commissioner, Mr. Alogsius Okorie had announced that the suspected rapist would be charged to court soon.
In May 2008, a two-and-half-year-old girl child was allegedly defiled by a neighbour in Olodi, Apapa, Lagos. The alleged rapist, a 23-yearold- motor spare parts dealer, lured the little girl with sweets and had his way. When the girl could not stand up and there were tell-tale signs of defilement, her mother raised alarm and reported the matter with the police.


Even at local communities hitherto kept sane by morality and tradition, bizarre violence against the girl-child is becoming rife. In October last year, a nine-year-old baby girl, Kwaghdoo Agbami was gang-raped to death in Makurdi, Benue state. The rapists allegedly abducted and raped her to death after a marriage ceremony in her compound.
Last December, a 62-year-old man, Kassimu Ado was arrested in Nasarawa Gwom area for allegedly defiling a girl less than nine years of age. The state police commissioner, Charles Akaya paraded the man before pressmen.


According to available reports, between June to December last year, the police in Kano recorded 54 cases of girl-child rape and made 60 arrests. With this record, the state probably leads the nation in notoriety rating of paedophilia.
The reckless abuse of girl-children is a big cause of concern. The director of Office of Public Defender, Mrs Bisi Akinlade has raised alarm over the rising cases of the rape of juveniles in Lagos. “Nearly every week we receive a case of defilement or rape. There is problem of increasing number of juvenile cases,” she told Sunday Sun.


Rituals
An old man (not a violator) who pleads anonymity has revealed that some people erroneously believe that sleeping with virgin girls cure AIDS, brings good fortunes and revives flagging libido. “All na superstitution. It doesn’t work. People should be discouraged. It’s sickening, immoral, unAfrican,” the man said. This trait can easily be traced to South Africa. The country is outrageously notorious for defilement and debasement of girl children.
To achieve their diabolic aim, Sunday Sun learnt that perpetrators sometimes used handkerchiefs to wife the children’s vagina after raping them.


Where the buck stops
The Women Unity Forum laments that rape in the country is on the increase because of gross inadequacy of the Nigerian laws to bring perpetrators to book. The forum further accused the Nigerian police of treating rape cases with levity. This, the forum claims, has made Nigerian women vulnerable to violence and HIV/AIDS infection.


In response to this vexing issue, the newly appointed permanent secretary of Niger state, and the Executive, Director of Radio Niger, Alhaji Abdulmalik, has called for stricter penalties for perpetrators of rape in the state and the country at large.
Speaking with members of the Niger State chapter of the National Association of Women Journalists who paid an advocacy visit to him, Abdulmalik said: “Rape cases before now in Niger stat wee non – issue, but at the movement they have become so rampant due to the proximity to the Federal capital Territory, Abuja, that parents are in fear about the safety of their wards and that is why I suggest that very strict punishment be meted out to those found culpable for the act.”
He expressed surprise that cases of rape were being treated lightly without consideration for the damage done to the victims who are mostly underaged girls who are below the age of 15 years. He cited a recent case in the state and how a six-year-old girl was raped and further clubbed with a hoe.


 

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.