The rapistAs the girl spoke slowly, her mother explained that it was the effect of a barrage of medication that she had been given at the Mirabel Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Ikeja, Lagos where she had gone for a test the previous day.
Less than two days before her visit to Mirabel, Doreen, a quiet secondary school year two student, was languishing behind the counter of the Ajuwon Police Division, in Akute, a border community between Ogun and Lagos states.
The divisional officer ordered the girl to be locked up for stealing a piece of meat despite the fact that she had told the police how her caretaker, a Benin, Edo State indigene, Samuel Esosa Ehis, had allegedly raped her.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that Doreen (not real name) whose parents live in Mushin, Lagos was taken in by 40-year-old Ehis as a home help in November 2016.
Her parents said Ehis promised them he would enrol Doreen in school and in return, she would live with him and his wife and help out with domestic chores.
Doreen was never enrolled in any school since that November until September 2017, Saturday PUNCH learnt.
Asked why they did not take her away from Ehis’ house since the school enrolment agreement was not fulfilled for more than 10 months, Doreen’s parents said they had hoped Ehis would fulfil his promise.
He eventually did during the resumption of a new school session in September.
Doreen alleged that over the last 10 months she lived with Ehis and his wife, a banker and their two toddlers, the man had “told me to pull my skirt many times than I can remember.”
According to her, most of the time, the man allegedly came to the room she shared with his children and pulled her skirt while she slept in the dark.
“When I say ‘who is that?’ he would pretend to be doing something else. This happened so many times, whether his wife was at home or not. When his wife was not at home, he would tell me to remove my skirt and I would say no,” the girl said.
She shared this with a neighbour, who confirmed the girl’s story.
“I told her that anytime the man did something like that again, she should scream so that he would not be able to deny it,” the neighbour said.
But on Friday, October 27, Doreen said she was cornered by Ehis at about 5pm when she returned from school.
The girl stated, “While I was going to school that morning, he said I should pull down my skirt and I said he should please leave me alone because I was late for school.
Doreen“When I got back from school in the evening, his wife was not around, he grabbed me and pulled down my skirt and pants. I told him that my mother would not like what he was doing and he said my mother would not know since she was not there,” she said.
According to Doreen, when Ehis was done with her, she had to run off to the house of the neighbour, whom she had initially reported the previous attempts to.
In the house of the neighbour where Doreen sought refuge, the girl was given a phone to call her mother and report everything that had happened.
Her mother told our correspondent, “She was crying when she called. She said that the man she was living with raped her and I screamed. I had to quickly inform her father who went to Akute immediately,” she said.
Doreen’s father said when he got to Akute, Ehis expressed surprise at seeing him and even asked why he had visited.
The angry father then accused him of raping his daughter but he denied it. His wife also denied that her husband could have raped the girl and corroborated her husband’s meat theft accusation.
Ehis’ wife then suggested they take the girl to a private hospital they patronise to get her tested but a doctor, who refused to carry out the test, referred them to a general hospital.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that the hospital refused to carry out the test without a police referral. Because it was late, Doreen’s father took her home but returned the following day to report the matter at the Ajuwon Police Division.
The girl’s father said he got to the station on Saturday to realise that Ehis had earlier reported there that the girl living with him stole a piece of meat but accused him of raping her when she was punished for it.
“When I got there to report that my daughter was raped, the police turned the case upside down. They said my daughter was a liar. The DPO said since the man (Ehis) reported first, they should first of all lock my daughter behind the counter, since the accusation of stealing meat, which was made against her, was a crime,” Doreen’s father said.
The police later resolved to get the girl tested. So they told the father to go and look for money for transport and for the test.
“We had no money. To get to Ajuwon was even hard because of money. We told them that we had to go back to Mushin to look for money. By the time we got the money, it was late and Mirabel where we were told to take my daughter to, had already closed. But we saw a notice on the door that they would open the following day, which was Sunday,” Doreen’s mother said.
According to her, the policewoman who followed them there said there was no point coming back the following day that despite the notice, it was not likely that officials would be there.
“Somebody now advised us that if it was too late, the evidence of the rape might have been washed off and that we should try and go back to Mirabel on Sunday. The following day, without informing the police, we took Doreen to Mirabel where they confirmed to us that she had been raped,” the girl’s mother said.
Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Ilyasu AhmedOfficials at Mirabel told the girl’s parents that the official report could only be delivered to the police and so, they needed a police request.
Doreen’s mother said, “When we got to the station and they heard that we had taken her for the test, they heaped abuses on us. They called my husband foolish and idiotic for insisting on going back for the treatment.
“The DPO joined in the abuses. He said my daughter was not a virgin and that she was already ‘selling’ herself. He said he was no longer interested in the case and that they should push all of us to the state CID (Ogun State Police Command’s Criminal Investigative Department at Eleweran, Abeokuta).”
However, the DPO asked two of his men to go to Ehis’ house to pick him up but by the time they got there, he had allegedly fled. He has since been incommunicado.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that Doreen underwent further tests and treatments at Mirabel, results of which would be handed over to the police.
When our correspondent reached out to Ehis by phone, he said he did not run away but that he got a job offer outside Lagos.
He refused to answer questions on whether he indeed raped the girl or not. When he was asked which city he was in, he said he could not say.
Ehis confirmed that he reported the case to the police first.
He said, “I reported the matter to the police because the girl accused me of raping her. I did not touch her. The private hospital we use actually did the test first and they said she was not raped.
“We went to Mirabel together and the officials were not around. I did not know they had gone back to do the test. The police have contacted me and I told them that I would come and appear when I am done with the job issue.”
He refused to say when he would come back to Lagos and make the appearance at the police station.
However, three weeks after, he has yet to come back.
Doreen’s family said the police said he was no longer reachable.
Saturday PUNCH reached out to the spokesperson for the Ogun State Police Command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, who promised to find out the veracity of the allegations against the DPO of Ajuwon Police Division and the status of the case.
More than a week after his promise, Oyeyemi had yet to do so and no longer picked calls to his line.
Director of the Esther Child Rights Foundation, who is handling the case has called on the p0lice in Ogun State to redeem their image to ensure that Ehis is tracked down and arrested.
According to her, without this, the police would only be telling the public that they have been bribed to let a suspected rapist loose.
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