In Nnewi, Mary and her sister got separated when they had to work in different homes – her sister as a salesgirl and Mary as a housemaid for Amaobi’s mother-in-law.
But without her sister’s knowledge, Mary was sent to live with the Amaobis in Lagos.
Mary’s sister, who had insisted on keeping a close watch on her, immediately relocated to Lagos in order to be close to her younger sister.
Mary got to the Amaobis’ home in April. According to her, the man started raping her right from that month.
“The first time he raped me and I bled, I reported to madam when she got back home. She did not do anything about it. But she beat me all the time when she accused me of stealing money,” the girl said.
Mary said she was also routinely starved.
The couple had promised to enrol Mary in school also but made no attempt to look for a school for her during the four months she was there.
According to the girl, whenever Amaobi wanted to come into her room to rape her, he held a knife to her neck to prevent her from screaming.
“There was a time madam was in the sitting room. He came to where I was and carried me to his room. I tried to struggle but he held me down and said he would stab me if I made any noise. When he finished, he told me to get out of the room and to keep quiet because I was crying. I still went to report to his wife and she did not do anything about it,” the girl said.
The man allegedly continued the sexual attack multiple times despite the girl notifying his wife.
But on Sunday, October 22, 2017, he raped her again as usual and the girl ran out of the house to report what he had done again to his wife.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that Amaobi’s wife took the girl to a hospital to conduct a pregnancy test on her.
It is not clear what the result showed but when they got home, Mrs. Amaobi allegedly handed the girl an alcoholic herbal drink, which she refused to drink.
“Madam held a pair of scissors and said she would stab me if I did not drink it. I then drank the liquid. She did not tell me what it was for,” Mary said.
Shortly after, Mrs. Amaobi told Mary to pack her belongings and she proceeded to hand her over to her sister.
Mary’s sister cried profusely, blaming herself for everything that had happened to her sister as she narrated the story.
“I brought her from Jos because I thought I could look after her. I blame myself for all that has happened to her,” she said.
When the case was reported to the Esther Child Rights Foundation, officials at the NGO notified the police and Mr. Amaobi was arrested.
In a taped statement, Mrs. Amaobi admitted that she indeed took the girl for a test and administered what she called “hot drink” on the girl.
But she refused to disclose what the concoction was used for when asked.
She said, “I love the girl like my own child. I love the girl very much. Even when she was stealing money in the house, I took her to our church for deliverance.
“It is true that she reported to me that my husband raped her. But she only reported once and that was this last time. I was shocked. I wanted to faint. I held my chest and was crying.”
Director of the ECRF, Mrs. Esther Ogwu, said she petitioned the Lagos Office of Public Defender to ensure justice was done.
Amaobi was finally charged with child sexual abuse and child endangerment at the Ikeja Magistrate’s Court, Lagos on Tuesday, November 7.
He was subsequently remanded at the Kirikiri Prison, Lagos pending when he met his bail conditions.
The case has been adjourned till January 25 for mention.
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