According to Saturday PUNCH’s September 2, 2017 report, the woman, Racheal (not real name), said 26-year-old Victor, had been her children’s barber for some years.
She alleged that her husband had given him a clipper for repairs and when she visited him one day to get the clipper, Victor incapacitated her and raped her in the process.
The man, who did not want to comment on the issues in the last report was convinced by his lawyer, Mrs. Giwa-Osagie, to give details of his own side of the story in an encounter with our correspondent.
Victor said that it was actually Rachael, who brought the clipper to him for repairs which he charged N600 for.
He said, “I normally used my own clippers to cut her children’s hair but they always complained the clipper pained them. They brought their own clipper for repairs and the bill was N600.
“She refused to give me the money and everytime she brought the children for haircut, I expected my money but she never gave it to me. She said maybe when her husband came for a haircut, he would give it to me.
“The clipper was with me for a long time until February. One day, I told her that I could not cut her children’s hair and kept their clipper because of the money she owed me.
“One day, I saw the husband and he asked what was wrong with their clipper that I kept it in my shop and I explained to the man that his wife brought it for repairs but had refused to pay.
“The man promised to give me the money, which I had reduced to N500 for his sake since he was a long time customer. Yet, after that day, she refused to give me the money.”
Victor said that shortly after his discussion with Rachael’s husband, she came to his shop and asked what discussion he had with her husband.
According to him, after he told her what they discussed, she then explained that her husband had indeed given her N500 for the repairs but that she had used the money for something else.
Victor said this angered him because she already owned him a previous N2,000, which she allegedly borrowed to repair her phone.
He said, “Apart from that, because I sell women’s shoes, she bought a pair of shoes for N1,500 and said she would pay later. She said she would give me N1,000 balance later. In total, she was owing me N3,500. We kept on quarrelling each time she came to my shop to have the kids’ haircut.
“I asked for the money and she refused to give it to me. There was a day I saw her on the street and we had an argument over the money. She said I was harassing her because of money. I told her all I wanted was my money.”
Victor said that shortly after that day, he parked his motorcycle in front of the house of one of his kinsmen.
He told Saturday PUNCH that when Rachael saw the motorcycle and recognised it while passing by the house, she called to ask where he was.
The barber said he thought she was coming to give him the money.
Victor said, “The apartment was rented by a kinsman, whom I referred to as my brother. We were eating when she got there. She sat down at the passage but later opened the net to sit down inside the room.
“She was wearing something short. When we were done eating, my kinsman left the room to repair a shoe outside the compound.
“While she was inside, her legs were open and I said, ‘Madam, see the way you are sitting down. Iya Michael, your legs are opened now’ and she said, ‘Leave that one, you are pretending as if you don’t like women’.
“I told her that I was not like that. She said there was a day she saw me with a girl in a hotel in the neighbourhood and I told her it was because I sang in clubs sometimes. She said I was lying. She was no longer even talking about the money. She was even talking as if she was my girlfriend.
“My brother (kinsman) later came, knocked on the door and told us to start going because the main person who rented the apartment might come in and think something else was going on in the room.
“We left the room to sit at the passage. Shortly after that, someone came to call me that customers were asking for me at the shop. I drove my bike to my shop a she left at this time too. I remember that while I was trying to start my bike outside, she was being careful so that nobody would see her leave the house.”
He alleged that on a few occasions, Rachael, who sometimes visited his shop, would tease and play with him by touching his chest.
Victor, whose wife was pregnant at the time, said that after the first encounter in his kinsman’s apartment, Rachael called him one day when she saw his wife, working in their shop.
The barber said he was sleeping at home when her call came in.
He said, “She said she saw my wife alone in the shop and called me to ask why it was only my wife working in the shop. I told her I was tired.
“Later, because our house are not far from each other, she was passing through the front of my house shortly after and saw me washing my motorcycle.
“She said she was going to buy something on another street. I was about to go into my compound when she said I should show her my own apartment so that when my wife puts to bed, she would know where to visit during the naming.
“She entered with me and commented that my apartment was nice. She sat down and said I should tune the TV to a station where they show Telemundo. When she started watching, I swear, the same thing she did that day was what she did. Her legs were opened again.”
Victor alleged that when Rachael wanted to enter the apartment that day, he recalled that she packed her sandals inside.
When asked why she did not leave the slippers outside, he said she simply told him to leave the slippers inside.
He told Saturday PUNCH, “She was sitting on a chair and I was polishing my shoes. She said I should come close to her that she had something to tell me. She said she was tired of her marriage, she said she needed a job and that her joblessness was why she had not been able to repay what he owed me.
“I told her that the issue was between her and her husband and that she should try and discuss whatever problem she had with him when she got home.
“I noticed that my wife might soon come back and I did not want her to see the woman in my room dressed like that, so I told her to leave. When she left, my landlord saw her and I was afraid he might be thinking I had something to do with her.”
Victor alleged that after that encounter, Rachael began calling him consistently, sometimes, to ask for recharge cards, to the point where his wife became suspicious.
According to him, he had to plead with her to stop calling.
But he said he later realised that Rachael had reported him to her husband that he was withholding their clipper because of N500.
He said after telling her that she should not bring her children for haircut if she did not bring her money, they quarrelled on the street one day during which the woman insulted him.
“At a point, she said I was embarrassing her because of the little money she owed me and insulted me, calling my shop tiny. I became angry at that point. I asked her if she did not know my shop was tiny before she started stalking me and disturbing me with calls. I threatened her that I would tell her husband everything she had done. She later called to apologise. I told her all I wanted was my money and we would be fine,” he said.
Victor said he believed this was the origin of the allegations against him.
According to him, Rachael called shortly after and pleaded that if her husband brought the children for a haircut, he should not tell him that she had not paid for the repairs.
But he said one day, Rachael called him and allegedly threatened to deal with him if he told her husband anything damaging about her.
“I did not know what she meant at the time until the police came to arrest me two days later while I was working in my shop. When we got to the police station, they asked for evidence but she produced a torn pant that I had never seen before in my life,” Victor said.
Rachael had alleged that she was raped on February 7. The case was reported to the police on March 5.
She had told Saturday PUNCH that she was too ashamed to tell anybody about it because her husband had travelled. According to her, when her husband returned home weeks after, she reported the matter to him and he encouraged her to go to the police.
Victor said he never offered money to the complainant but that while at the station, he was asked to pay N500,000 which Rachael said was for ritual cleansing which was prescribed by her husband’s family.
“I told her that I could not pay for what I did not do. Later, she said I should bring N150,000. I told her I had nothing. That was why they charged me to court,” Victor said.
Victor also refuted the allegation that his mother-in-law visited Rachael’s home to beg in company with his wife, stating that only he knew the woman’s house.
Victor’s lawyer told Saturday PUNCH that there was no truth in the allegation that there was any underhand dealing in how the case was dismissed.
According to court documents our correspondent sighted, the case was dismissed for “lack of diligent prosecution” with advice that the case could be represented if the complainant felt the need to pursue the case.
Giwa-Osagie said, “The complainant only came to court when the case was arraigned. How do you drag someone to court and refuse to show up and pursue your case?
“We argued for the case to be struck out and it was granted. The truth is that I did my personal investigation and realised there was no iota of truth in the woman’s allegations. This was why I decided to take on the case for free.
“If justice is to be done in this matter, it should be for Victor to clear his name and recover everything he lost because he was locked up for about two weeks over what he did not do.”
However, Rachael has refuted the allegation of seduction.
“We are going back to court in October. I have nothing to hide at this point. I only knew his actual house when he was arrested. He has had time to perfect all his lies. I bought a pair of slippers from him truly for the sum of N700. I paid him N500 and planned to balance him N200,” she said.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that the Office of the Public Defender, Lagos State, has also taken up the case.
OPD Director, Mrs. Olubukola Salami, explained that her office was working on how to pursue the case.
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