Written by Oluwatoyin Malik, Crime Editor
Bolatito (not real name), the mother of an 11-year-old girl (name withheld) allegedly defiled by her father, one Kareem, has told of how her daughter came to her on the night of Sunday, January 15, to unburden her heart on how her father had been committing incest with her in her absence.
The 33-year-old suspected pedophile was arrested by the Oyo State command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) after a case of defilement was reported on January 17.
The NSCDC Public Relations Officer, Oyindamola Okuneye, at a press briefing, told newsmen that Kareem, who lives at the Papa area of Idi Osan, Ibadan, had carnal knowledge of his 11-year-old daughter following which the case was reported at the command.
However, the suspect, who spoke of his relationship with the girl’s mother, their separation and care for the girl, denied defiling his daughter.
How I got to know –Mother
However, the girl’s mother, in an interview witth Saturday Tribune, said: “I was not in the country when all these things were happening. I was in Oman. We had parted ways before I travelled and he remarried. I came back to the country on January 2 but my daughter was earlier brought by her father to my family house to celebrate Christmas with my father and siblings. It is true that on January 15, I followed Tunde (the suspect) to attend a wedding ceremony in Osogbo, Osun State.
“However, on my return the same day, my daughter came to me at night, saying she needed to speak to me about something bothering her. She came with my sister. I thought they had an argument; I didn’t know she had already opened up to her over the issue she wanted to discuss with me.
“My daughter told me that her father had sexual intercourse with her when I was not around. I asked her why she would say such a reprehensible thing about her father. She said she was not lying. I told her to lie on the bed and I checked her private part. I wanted to see if she was tight, as expected of a girl of her age, but to my shock, she was so open in that area.
“The next day, I took her to a private hospital for medical examination. After checking her, the doctors told me that her hymen was no longer intact; that about three fingers could conveniently be inserted in her private part. They asked my daughter questions and she told them that her father had constantly had sex with her.”
But in an interview, Kareem denied defiling his daughter.
He said: “My family is from Ede, Osun State, but I was born in Ibadan. I finished secondary school but did not go further. I learnt the vocation of motorcycle and generator repairs. I am the fifth of the eight children my mother had for my father. My father has children from another wife.
“I met my former wife when I was about 20 years old and just finished apprenticeship. She was in Senior School 2 at that time. She got pregnant and her parents were angry with me. They threatened me with arrest and so I went into hiding. My parents went to plead on my behalf and she moved in with them. She gave birth to our daughter.
“At that time, I was working for a politician, now deceased (name withheld), running errands for him. I was not staying at home. I went home once in a while. I started dating another young lady. With my absence from home, the mother of my child packed her belongings and left for her parents’ house.
“I moved to Osogbo when I did not get help from the politician. I was just being used. When I came back to Ibadan, my wife said she would go with me to Osogbo. My daughter was about two years old. From Osogbo, I moved to Lagos and started working as a security man. I told my wife to return to Ibadan and stay with my mother. My father had just died.
“After some months, we returned to Osogbo where we had our second child, a boy. At a point, there was no means of survival for me. I returned to Ibadan with my wife, living in my father’s house. She was unhappy. She went away one evening after I left home to hustle as a commercial motorcyclist. I took my daughter to my sister’s house while my son was with his mother. After about a year, I married another woman.
“In my daughter’s school, we were told that she was not interested in learning and was always sleeping. She later said that my sister was beating her. I fetched her from my sister’s and took her to my mother. I left for Aba in Abia State to work. I was there when my mother became ill and died. I took her back to my sister. As of that time, her mother had travelled to the Middle East country, Oman.
“I was concerned about my daughter’s academic performance and so on request, I took my daughter to the woman who gave me a motorcycle on a hire purchase arrangement. She was a retired teacher.
“However, my daughter ran back to my home after a while, in late 2021 but my new wife didn’t like her staying with us. Sometimes I made her stay with my half brother’s family whom I share my father’s house with, but my daughter would say that she wanted to stay in her father’s room. We had just a room where I lived with my new wife and her two children. We were all staying in the room with my daughter.
“On December 24, I called my daughter’s aunt to come and pick her for Christmas celebration. Her mother was also back from Oman and was with the family. She didn’t let me know that she had heard something until I was invited by a radio station over the matter. When I got there, I was asked about my daughter’s accusation that I constantly defiled her when she was with me.
After that, I was arrested by the civil defence. My daughter insisted that I started to defile her when she came to live with me. I believe it is my enemies that are at work.”
However, in her statement at the NSCDC office, the 11-year-old girl said her father had sexual intercourse with her usually when his current wife was cooking outside or had gone to the market. She said her father’s first sexual assault on her was in the night when she was awoken by his penetration. She said he had continued to sleep with her since then.
The girl told her story in an interview with Saturday Tribune: “I went to stay with my father after the death of his mother. One day, I was sleeping in the room. I didn’t know when my father came in and removed my pants. I woke up and met him on top of me. As I wanted to scream, he covered my mouth with his hand and warned me not to tell anyone. His wife was right outside and he had locked the door. I bled and he used a rag to clean me up.
“The next day, I walked with difficulty and this was noticed by his siblings. When he was told, he did not say anything. I couldn’t tell anyone because he threatened to kill me if I did.
“The second time he did it, my stepmother was cooking outside. After that, he was doing it periodically. Sometimes he would lure me in under the pretext of wanting me to do something for him. He did it whenever my stepmother went to the market, was cooking or was sitting outside.
“He didn’t allow me to go to my maternal grandparents’ home until my maternal grandmother died last year. When I started going there, I couldn’t tell anyone because of his threat.
‘How I opened up’
“On Saturday, January 14, I was with my aunt. She is the last born of my mother’s family. She is two years older than me but we interact on a first-name basis. My mum is the first born. I sat with her that day and told that I my mind was burdened. I told her what my father had been doing to me. She was shocked. We decided to tell my mother the next morning but she had left home very early. We told her when she came back.
“When my father was invited by the civil defence, he denied initially but he later confessed to having sex with me. He also confessed to his siblings.”