A 22-year-old man, Osholo Samuel, his 17-year-old teenage friend and a 10-year-old boy, who allegedly raped and assaulted a seven-year-old girl have been arraigned before an Ikorodu magistrate’s court in Lagos.
They were alleged to have committed the crime last Friday in the Adaraloye area of Ikorodu, Lagos.
Samuel and his teenage friend, both labourers (in tiling and Plaster of Paris, POP, settling business) were said to have cajoled the 10-year-old third defendant to lure the girl into a room where the trio took turns to rape her.
It was also alleged that the 22-year-old and his 17-year-old friend, promised to give both the victim and the 10-year-old boy money to keep quite.
However, the girl was alleged to have told her younger sister, who later told their mother.
Narrating how the alleged incident occurred, the 10-year-old boy said the victim was the only girl in the building that evening and the other suspects allegedly sent him to call her.
The boy, who spoke in Yoruba, said: “They came to work in the house. They fix POP. The girl lives in our compound. They told me to invite her to meet them in the room and I did. Then they asked me to go and get a cloth and paper. They set the paper on the floor and laid the cloth on it. Then they ordered me to take off her pant and do my own (have canal knowledge of her). So, I took off her pant and did my own. Then they began to do their own with the girl.
“The girl began to cry. They covered her mouth with their hands. I felt sorry for her. I told them to stop and that she would die, but they refused. They said she would not die and that nobody would know. They promised to give me and the girl money.”
It was further gathered that after the incident, the girl was taken to the Ikorodu General Hospital for examination.
But Samuel and his friend both denied the allegation and provided an alibi for their whereabouts that evening.
They claimed to have left Adaraloye for Eruwen in Ikorodu some hours before the incident.
Samuel said in Yoruba: “I do not know anything about what happened. We work at Adaraloye, near Ikorodu Club. There is a room in a house there where we sleep. There is a two-storey building there that is being renovated. So, we were asked to do POP there. We do not know the room where the incident happened. The girl is lying against us.”
His 17-year-old friend also denied, alleging that they were victims of a conspiracy by the girl’s family.
“Recently there was a misunderstanding between the girl’s father and my elder brother. They fought. The girl’s father broke a bottle and threatened to stab us with it. When outsiders wanted to settle the matter, the girl’s father called his child to one side and spoke with her secretly. Afterwards, he brought the girl back,” he said.
The girl’s father (surname withheld) said he and his wife were away when the incident occurred and confirmed that their last child told his wife about the incident.
He said: “I was at work and my wife had gone to Oyingbo market when the incident occurred. My wife later called me that evening to tell me what had happened. I rushed home.”
The victim’s father said he begged the police to come to his aid, alleging that unknown individuals had threatened him with eviction from his rented apartment in Adaraloye, if he did not persuade the police to drop the case.
The three suspects were, however, charged to court by police from Ikorodu Police Station, Igbogbo, at the family court section of the Ikorodu magistrate’s court, Lagos.
The defendants were docked before Chief Magistrate, Mrs A. A. Oshoniyi, on a seven-count charge of conspiracy, indecent assault and unlawful sexual intercourse.
Samuel and his friend pleaded not guilty while their 10-year-old co-defendant pleaded guilty.
However, the magistrate granted Samuel N200,000 bail with two responsible sureties in like sum among other requirements and ordered that he be remanded in Kirikiri Prison, pending the perfection of his bail conditions.
Magistrate Oshoniyi also remanded the second defendant in Borstal Home, Adigbe, Abeokuta, while the third defendant was remanded in Boys Remand Home, Oregun, Lagos.
She adjourned the case till January 26, 2017, for mention.