The sad story of how a 12-year-old girl was violently defiled and gets no justice because her stepdad doesn’t want the offender to be jailed
Like every other person woke up on Friday, June 18th, 2021, so did Bola Adewale (not the real name), a 12-year-old girl who resides at Oluokun area of Erin-Osun, Irepodun South LCDA of Osun State, not knowing that the day will be one that she would forever be remembering with tears and sorrow.
Bola, a junior secondary school student, was defiled by one man simply identified as Joseph Ajiboye, a 29-year-old ‘area’ brother she had known for long.
How it happened
According to an elder sister of the victim, who preferred not be named because of fear of victimization, Bola and her colleagues were playing under a tree located in front of their house on that fateful day and Ajiboye showed up to send her recharge card. After Ajiboye gave her money, she left for where she would get the card. Ajiboye reportedly lured the little girl to a room where the act was perpetrated.
The old one-storey building is located near United Primary School, Erin-Osun and only had an aged woman as occupant of the ground floor when InsightMedia visited the area.
She said, “On that night, Bola and her friend were playing under the tree in front of that house (she pointed to it) and Ajiboye came there to send Bola recharge card. As someone that she had known for long, Bola obliged and went to buy the card for him. After she left, Ajiboye left for that house (pointed to another house) and he told everyone left under the shed that when Bola comes around, she should bring the card to the other house.
“When Bola got there, only Ajiboye and one elderly woman was in the house and Ajiboye dragged her inside, put pillow on her mouth and violently raped her. All her efforts to shout and call people’s attention failed as she could not talk. After she left, all her private part was full of blood and she was rushed to Alafia Lagba hospital.” She narrated.
When InsightMedia visited the hospital, medical director, Alhaji Taofeek Olaniyi confirmed that Bola was brought to his hospital and he treated her.
According to him, Bola’s case was a “straightforward” case, stating that all her private part swole up and full of blood. He stated that he has discussed with officers at the State Criminal Investigation Department and a report has been sent to them.
“She was brought her later on Friday and her case was a pathetic one. It’s a straightforward case that needed no test because her private part swole up and was full of blood. We had to first clean the blood before the treatment could commence. I can confirm to you that she was defiled.”
“I have sent a report to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) and I have also spoken with them.”
The Unending Drama
Shortly that night, Ajiboye was arrested by the police after a formal report was made at Erin-Osun Police Division. He was detained there overnight. However, the following day, there was a pressure on the family from the community spearheaded by the stepdad of the victim to ensure that the accused is released.
On Monday, when InsightMedia visited the area, the elder sister said the people of the community have come and they have persuaded her mother to forgive Ajiboye. She said they also pledged to pay the medical bill.
“This morning, some elders in this community have come around and they have persuaded my mother to let go of the matter. My mother’s husband is also threatening that if she doesn’t allow the matter to slide, that will be the end of their relationship. You know our father is from Ilobu and he and our mother have divorced each other. So the Erin-Osun people want the matter to die naturally because of Lekan (Ajiboye). They said Lekan (Ajiboye) must not go to jail.
“They have all gone to the police station to release him (Lekan). They have also paid N40,000 hospital bill. There’s nothing I can do because they have more connection than I do.” She said.
On Monday, June 21, when InsightMedia visited the police station in Erin-Osun, it was gathered that Ajiboye had been taken to the State CID and detained there.
Alleged Disappearance of Victim, Mother
On Tuesday, an activist and the Convener of Compassion Against Rape, Citizen Lola Wey upon visiting the police station in Erin-Osun told our reporter that the police told him that the victim and her mother have disappeared and all efforts to see them proved abortive. It was gathered that the police was already at the verge of releasing the suspects over refusal of the complainants to show up.
At this point, efforts were made to bring the state government to the matter as the Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Olubukola Olaboopo was informed while an official was also made at her Ministry.
However, the commissioner requested that the victim or her sister or her mother should show up at the Ministry to explain the matter, a request that was impossible as a result of intimidation and alleged disappearance.
Sources close to the victim told our reporter that the pressure on the mother of the victim from her new husband, who insisted that the case should not be prosecuted or else, their affairs will come to an end, made her to withdraw from the case.
Confirming the development, police source said the several attempts to bring the woman and her daughter to the hospital failed as they have not shown up.
A sister of the victim and one of the daughters of Mrs Saheed, Rofiah said her mother became incommunicado after the suspect was transferred to the police headquarters. She said the pressure from her stepdad made her mother to have a rethink and opted not to show up at the station again.
“My mother has not been seen for the last two days. I don’t know where she is. I’m getting fed up with the matter. Since her new husband has insisted that she must not pursue the case, she has been compelled to do away with it. Her husband said she must
Suspect becomes a free man
According to the police, Ajiboye has been released on administrative bail following the disappearance of the victim and her mother who is the complainant in the case. Since then, the matter has been laid to rest.
Police Public Relations Officer, Yemisi Opalola confirmed the development. She said the suspect will be arrested of the complainants (victim and her mother) show up anytime.
“We cannot continue to detain the suspect perpetually. He has been released on administrative bail and will be arrested if the suspect shows up any moment.” She said.
When our Correspondent visited the community on Friday, everyone feigned ignorance of the event, even the victim mother. When probed to speak, they maintained tight lip on the matter. All efforts to speak with the victim failed.
A shocking development – Lola Wey
In her reaction, Citizens Lola Wey, the Convener of Compassion Against Rape described the action as a shock and anger.
She said the most painful aspect of it is the fact that “the victim gets no justice as a result of intimidation of her mother and the entire family by those who supposed to protect her.
“Anger because the child’s law already in operation in the State seems to be useless in apprehending violators of the law especially in rape cases which has thus emboldened perpetrators of rape to step up their activities in the state.
“My advice to members of the community is to stop harassing rape survivors and their family members in their attempt to seek and get justice for the evil done them because rape is a serious crime not only against the victim/survivor but against humanity as a whole. Rapists should be jointly dealt with to stamp out such activities in our society.”
Wey also condemned the state government’s reaction to rape cases in the State, stating that officers saddled with the responsibility appear overwhelmed.
“Government’s attitude to serious issues of rape and child molestation cannot be said to be desirable but it seems that the officers saddled with the function are already overwhelmed with other activities and do not seem properly equipped to follow rape /child molestation cases to a logical conclusion that can yield a desirable result in the society.”
What does the law say?
A legal practitioner in Osun State, Matthew Omolade described the situation a crime against the state, stating that the case of minor can be prosecuted by the state government.
Omolade, “Every criminal case is against the state. Even if the complainant is not ready to go ahead, the State can prosecute the case.
“However, the complainant and victims are a witnesses to the case as she would be the one to narrate the matter in the court. No one else can give evidence than the victim.”
When asked about the role of the stepdad, Omolade said, “covering an offence is an offence itself. He should be arrested and charged for intimidating the victim and her mother to drop the case.”