Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

How Lagos chief raped me for ritual –17-yr-old schoolgirl

• Claims violator bribed police N2 million at FCID, Alagbon to evade justice • Father demands white cloth used in cleaning blood from his daughter’s private part

Joy Anyim

A 17-year-old rape survivor, simply identified as Ruth, who was allegedly raped by a Lagos Chief, Mutalim Agbaje, alias Seriki,  has called on the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babjide Sanwo-Olu, and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, to come to her rescue and ensure she gets justice.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the survivor, a Senior Secondary School Student of Ibeju-Lekki Senior Secondary School, was running an errand for her mother on June 18, when she was allegedly abducted by Agbaje, raped and a white cloth used to wipe the blood from her private part.

According to Ruth, she gathered the courage to tell her parent of the act, six weeks afterwards, but alleged that since the matter was reported at the Akodo Division in August, her alleged violator has used his influence to frustrate her quest for justice.

Speaking with our correspondent recently, Ruth also claimed that the suspect was notorious for the act, as her one-time classmate, who is now dead, had suffered the same fate, courtesy of the suspect.

Pleading for help, following her deteriorating health condition occasioned by the sad incident, Ruth said she feared the rape might have been for a ritual purpose.

Chronicling her sad experience in the hands of the police and her said violator, the young girl said she suspected that Agbaje had paid the police at Akodo Division, while he also threatened her family to back off the case.

However, the case took a new twist after Ruth’s mother, Mrs. Temitope, who was determined to get justice, petitioned the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Yaba, on the matter.

However, unfortunately, Agbaje had in response to Mrs. Temitope’s move, also written a counter petition at the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), Annex, Alagbon.

The young girl said the last four months has left her traumatised, as Agbaje had even boasted that he is a son of the soil and cannot be touched by the police or anyone, coupled with the police show of bias and reluctance to investigate the matter.

She tells how it all happened: “Mr. Agbaje had been asking me to be his lover, but I had always refused. On June 18, I was going to buy flour and other things needed to make snacks for my mother. The shop was not too far from my house at Abuja Quarters, Ibeju-Agbe, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.

“I had passed Mr. Agbaje when I was going but didn’t talk to him. So, when I was coming back; I saw him again, standing along the road, and I just passed him. But just four steps away from him, I noticed he blew a white substance from behind, and I became dizzy, that was it.

“The next I saw myself was that I woke up in an uncompleted building in a bushy and lonely path, I was also messed up. Bloodstains were in my private part and my underwear was torn. I started crying and was struggling to stand up. While I shouted for help, an old woman came out from nowhere and started consoling me. She immediately brought out a white handkerchief and cleaned the blood from my private. She told me to be strong and see what had happened to me as part of life, claiming she was also raped at a tender age.

“It was late at night, and the old woman led me out of the bush, and I wriggled my way home. I was in shock and even when I got home I couldn’t tell my mother what had happened to me. It was about a month after the incident that I mustered the strength to tell my mother.

“I may be young but I know what happened to me and who did it. I really don’t know why I can’t get justice and have to keep being intimidated by the police and my violator. I may not be from a rich family, but the least I expect from my country is fairness and justice. It was Mr. Agbaje that was behind me that day, and I know he blew that powdery substance.”

Asked why she didn’t raise alarm after her daughter didn’t t return for about three hours after she had sent her on an errand, Mrs. Temitope told the correspondent that sometimes, she spends that much time to buy the ingredients they need, “the shop where we buy those items from is often very busy. You could spend as much as three hours before you are attended to.”

Narrating how she got to know of the sad incident, Temitope said: “I noticed my daughter was no longer the friendly and happy girl I had always known her to be. She would just sit and be lost in thought; you would keep calling her about four or five times and she wouldn’t respond. It would take you shouting to bring her back to reality.

“But on a particular day in August we had gone to church, but she just left unannounced. I was angry and when I got home, I ordered her elder brother to discipline her. It was at the verge of it that she pleaded with her elder brother to call me that there was something she needed to let us know.

“She told me the whole story. I was mad and bitter. I quickly informed her father, who took her to Akodo Police Division the next day, to report the matter. That same day the matter was reported, other chiefs and the relatives of Agbaje came begging me and my husband to forgive him. I insisted we must follow the case to the end and get justice. Agbaje’s loyalists started calling me names. They even started throwing curses at my family whenever they see us passing. My daughter was called names.”

She continued: “Suddenly, the Baale of our area said he would settle the matter, but I insisted we get a medical report to substantiate our claims, which we did. The result was, however, not given to us but handed over to the police. After the police obtained the medical report, they asked my husband what we wanted and he said he wanted the white cloth used to clean the blood from my daughter’s private. People said I was being stubborn, as the Baale had said he would settle the case.

“They said I should leave the police out of the matter, which I refused. People kept coming to my house to plead on Agbaje’s behalf. I suddenly learnt my husband had dropped the case. People even said he was paid. I got mad, confronted my husband, and he said he wasn’t paid but feared the worst would happen to us, considering the torment and abuse we had experienced.

“I braced up and went to SCIID, Yaba, did a petition and Akodo Division was asked to transfer the suspect and the case file. But unfortunately, they had released him. For weeks, Akodo Division could not produce the suspect. One day, while we awaited the next action from detectives at SCID, my husband came with some men, who claimed to be Agbaje’s lawyers. I refused to listen to them; they forcefully entered my house, dragged me and my daughter out and handcuffed us, put us in a waiting vehicle and took us to FCID Alagbon.

“We later heard Agbaje paid N2 million, for homicide detectives at FCID to take over the case. At Alagbon, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in charge of the section called me and my daughter names. Even when we were asked to go do another test at a hospital in Obalende, the doctor didn’t even do the needful; he just asked my daughter a few questions and wrote his report. Policemen at Homicide Section called us liars. I rejected the report, and the DCP, a woman, said I should pay N150, 000 for another test, which I didn’t have. Now my daughter has been falling sick, I fear the worst.”

Asked why he let the suspect go at Akodo division, Mr. Kola, the father of the survivor, said it was because they were both members of Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC), and that their head had pleaded with him, not knowing the gravity of the offence.

“All I want is justice; I want the white cloth used in cleaning the blood from my daughter’s private. I want all involved in this cruel act brought to face the law, no matter how high they may be. I have not collected money from anyone and I will not,” he insisted.

The Nigerian Xpress contacted Agbaje on his cell phone number to seek his comments on the allegation but his phone rang out on three different occasions without a response. A text message was also sent to the suspect but he was yet to respond days after. 

The spokesperson for FCID, Alagbon, Niyi Ogundeyi, was contacted on phone with the allegations against some operatives at the Homicide Section.

Asked why the Homicide Section was handling a case of alleged rape, Ogundeyi said: “All policemen were trained to investigate cases. This department called homicide has the right to investigate anything that is assigned to them, the way they go about it is what matters. If it is a case of rape, there are fundamental things needed to be done to unravel the mystery behind it. Nobody has a repository of knowledge as far as the police investigation is concerned.

“The man in Homicide Section today may be transferred to any section. This case in question is a very sensitive case, and the Homicide Section handles sensitive cases that have to do with life. So, I will ask that you come over to FCID, Alagbon; let us go together to see the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) of the case, and we will see what needs to be done.”