There was silence from the entrance to their apartment that Wednesday afternoon. It took several knocks at the door before an elderly woman reluctantly responded. Looking spent and sober, she was the grandmother of Favour Okechukwu, an 11-year-old Junior Secondary School 3 pupil gang-raped to death on Olanrewaju Street, Ejigbo area of Lagos.
In the family’s living room on Oreofe Street, a stone’s throw to Olanrewaju Street, the victim’s parents sat on separate couches lost in grief. While the mother buried her head in her right palm, Okechukwu’s father fiddled with his phone, shaking his head in dejection intermittently.
“Thank you,” he muttered, breaking the silence after several minutes. “Let me keep on with what I am passing through. I cannot talk about it for now,” he added, before resuming his deep silence.
Throughout our correspondent’s 30-minute stay with the family, the bereaved mother was in a pensive mood.
Favour was running an errand for her mum on Wednesday, September 30 when she went missing, throwing the family into confusion.
She was found dead the following morning on Olanrewaju Street, with her private parts bloodied.
The incident was reported at the Ejigbo Police Station and five suspects were said to have been arrested in connection with the incident.
“Everything is in God’s hands,” the grandmother, who did not disclose her name, said.
“The blood of the innocent child will fight. It was around 3pm and her mother only sent her to buy something at a nearby shop. What could have attracted them to her? She didn’t have breasts and has not attained puberty stage. Her parents cried so much that they wanted to collapse,” she stated.
A neighbour, Mr Austin Ebong, said the incident had instilled fears in residents, adding that parents were now scared of sending children on errands within the neighbourhood.