BY SAMSON FOLARIN
Little Chinansa (pseudonym) lost her innocence to a neighbour, who stole her virginity under the pretext of being a friend.
Though in kindergarten class two, Chinansa vividly recalled how she was allegedly defiled by 25-year-old Hamzat Afeez, a painter who lived in her parents’ house.
During a visit to the residence on Remi Ogunjimi Street, in the Egbeda area of Lagos State, the minor told PUNCH Metrohow Afeez raped her and afterwards washed her pants to get rid of blood stains that came out of her private parts.
She said, “AZ (Afeez) took my sister inside his room and I followed him inside. AZ now removed my pants and put his thing in my bum-bum (private parts).
“Then blood came out on the bed. He now washed my pants. He now said he wanted to go and bath. I now went out and told my mummy. When my daddy came back, I also told my daddy.”
The victim’s father, Mr. Okechukwu, said his worry was how the memory of the incident would not hunt his daughter in the future.
The Ebonyi State indigene said his daughter’s health had deteriorated, adding that she had not been the same since the incident.
He said, “I have two kids. She is my first child, while I also have an eight-month-old girl. On the fateful day, I was at work on the Island when my wife called me around 2pm and told me the story.
“She said she was washing some clothes when AZ came out and asked to carry Ngozi, her baby, to relieve her of the stress. Chinansa is fond of her sister and she always followed her wherever she went. So, she followed AZ inside his room. It was when she came out that she told her mother that ‘AZ did rubbish to me’. She told me the same story.”
He said he had to control his temper after hearing the story from her daughter to avoid taking the law into his hand.
The furniture maker, after waiting till the following day, reported the matter at the Gowon Estate Police Station, just as the police came and arrested the suspect.
Okechukwu, however, said he lost his peace since then, as other neighbours and relatives of the suspects, began begging him to let the matter rest and urge the police to release Afeez.
Our correspondent was shown an affidavit sworn to by Okechukwu, saying he was made to accept money from the suspect for the treatment of his daughter.
An undertaken, signed by Afeez, a copy of which was sighted by our correspondent, also showed the suspect agreeing to pay the sum of N100, 000 for the medical treatment of Chinansa.
Okechukwu said the suspect later said he could only afford to pay N40, 000 for the treatment.
“There is no remorse in that guy. He has not approached me or my wife to beg for forgiveness. A policeman, who observed his behaviour while at the station, said he might be a cultist and his gang probably wanted to use my daughter’s blood for ritual purpose.
“That thought has kept me troubled and I am uncomfortable with my girl’s health condition. I don’t care what the government does with the suspect, all I want is help for my girl,” he added.
When contacted, the suspect denied the allegation.
In a telephone interview with our correspondent, Afeez, whom PUNCH Metro learnt had been released on bail, said he did not sleep with the victim, adding that he was only being framed up.
“Look, I did not do anything with the girl. Everything that happened still looks like a dream to me. I don’t want anything that will put me in trouble and my neighbours can attest to it. Only God knows best; I have handed them over to God,” he said.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Command, Kenneth Nwosu, confirmed the incident.
He said, “They are neighbours and it happened in their house. The matter will be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department any moment from now. The suspect took ill and he was allowed to go and treat himself. The father of the girl also travelled. Whenever he returns, the case will be taken to the SCID. The the right thing will be done, the girl has gone through all the necessary medical tests.”