A father of four, Mr. Joseph (other names withheld by us), is currently cooling his heels in a dingy police cell after he was arrested for allegedly attempting to rape a five-year-old-girl in Meiran area of Lagos. Joseph was picked up by the police on Friday, August 10, after the neighbours raised the alarm at No 14, Kehinde Street, Olota, Meiran.
The strange incident caused a major stir in the neighbourhood as residents gathered to catch a glimpse of the suspect in front of the house, even as his neighbours rained verbal invectives on him. In no time, the anxious spectators had turned into an angry mob.
They swooped on the suspect, beating him black and blue. His hands were later tied and he was handed over to the police. Daily Sun learnt that the suspect, who lives in the same house as the parents of his victim, had lured the little girl (names withheld) into his room and attempted to have carnal knowledge of her.
Checks revealed that Joseph, who was the only one at home, took the girl into his room while her mother (fondly called Aunty Bola by neighbours), an estate agent, went out to honour some appointments with some of her customers. Joseph was allegedly apprehended when returned suddenly from her outing and raised the alarm that the suspect must have forced himself on her daughter in his living room on the day of the incident.
The alarm alerted the neighbours who rushed to the suspect’s living room to rescue the girl. Aunty Bola said: “It really amazed me that my neighbour, who has four children, would do a terrible thing like trying to rape my daughter. I had gone out to see some of my customers some streets away from my residence. When I returned, I called out for my daughter but she was nowhere to be found. I kept calling her name and Joseph answered from his room that he had sent her to get some items from a nearby shop.
“When I got tired of waiting for her to return, I decided to peep through the mosquito net on his door and I spotted my daughter’s slippers in his sitting room.” Oluwole said she was shocked when she entered Joseph’s sitting room only to see him adjusting his shorts while her daughter knelt on the floor with her hands raised up. “I asked him why he was punishing my daughter in his bedroom and he told me he did that to correct her for buying junk. I quickly raised the alarm and residents rushed to his apartment.
When we undressed my daughter, we saw his semen rushing down her knees.” Responding to questions from our correspondent, the little girl said: “He called me into his room and asked me to remove my pants. When I refused, he forcibly removed them, dropped me on the bed and slept on me. When my mummy arrived and was calling me, he covered my mouth with clothes.
But when he discovered that my mummy was coming towards his room, he asked me to kneel down and raise my hands.” Speaking on the effect the ugly incident has been having on her daughter, Aunty Bola, who had difficulties controlling the tears streaming down her face, said: “My daughter has been highly traumatised since the incident occurred. She can no longer stay in the room without somebody being with her.
But I have started working on her psychology. We have also taken her to the hospital and the results of the checks the doctor carried out on her indicated that she was nearly penetrated.” When Daily Sun called again at the home of the victim’s parents recently, her mother said members of Joseph’s family had been coming to beg them to drop the case.
She said: “Although, the matter has been charged to court, the family members of Joseph have been coming to beg us to drop the case. Some days ago, about 13 members of his family came to beg us. They pleaded that we should drop this case because of God. They promised to refund all the money that we paid to the hospital as a result of my daughter’s condition, saying we should consider that the man’s image was already damaged.
They brought a certain slip and asked me to sign on it to show that I had agreed to drop the case. After much persuasion, I agreed and signed the paper but we are still going to court. They also brought a cheque of N10,000 as payment for hospital bills but I’ve not collected that from them. I don’t want a situation that would permit them to turn the case against me in future.”
A copy of the doctor’s report dated August 15, given to the reporter by the victim’s parents reads in part: “Patient claimed the man has assaulted her severally before present episode. Examination revealed a conscious child, anxious looking, not pale, febrile, anicteric.
The urogenital system revealed normal female external genitalia with hyperaemic vulva and a rather enlarged vaginal orifice with intact hymen. Laboratory investigation results are as follows: Retroviral Screening-Negative High Vaginal swab m/c/s-pus cells-3-4/hpf, Epith cells-4-5/hpf, Sperm Cells-Numerous…” Some residents, who spoke with the reporter in confidence described Joseph as randy and irresponsible. A resident, who pleaded anonymity told Daily Sun: “People are usually afraid of taking it up with Joseph because of their belief that he was a police sergeant.
However, we were told at Meiran Police Station that he was dismissed from the Nigeria Police more than five years ago.” When the reporter contacted the Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) on the telephone, she confirmed the incident, adding that it had been charged to court.