By Evelyn Usman and Onozure Diana
November 6, 2014 was like every other day for 300 level student of Computer Science (names withheld) at the University of Lagos, Akoka Yaba. As the ailing student who managed to attend lectures stepped into her apartment located at Moremi hall, never in her wildest imagination did she envisage she would end up being a victim of rape.
However, the signal of an imminent emotional and psychological trauma reared up after one Daniel Okereke, a man that had reportedly being wooing her since last month, came visiting. Without any inkling of an apparent sinister motive, the undergraduate was said to have reluctantly left to attend to her visitor,who upon seeing her condition, opted to take her to a pharmaceutical store around Akoka to get some drugs.
Not yet done with his show of concern, the visitor reportedly took the female student to an eatery, so that she could eat before taking the drugs. Thereafter, he reportedly took her to his abode at Mende, Maryland where he allegedly ended up raping her.
Narrating her ordeal to the police, the student who had marks of strings on her back, hands and legs , narrated how she narrowly escaped being murdered by Okereke, in her bid to free herself from his grips.
According to her: “ When he came visiting, I never knew he had something sinister in his mind until we got to his place. At the eatery, he ordered that the food be made take-away and asked me to go eat it in his place and at the same time rest before taking me back to the hostel.
Immediately we entered the room, he secured the door and I had supper and later asked to be taken back . But he said he must have sex with me. I tried to appeal to him to consider my state of health and take me back to campus.
Before I knew what was happening, he started beating me, forcing to have his way. As if that was not enough, he called in seven guards in the compound who assisted him and tied me down. He thereafter, went into his kitchen and brought out a knife, threatening to kill me if I resisted. He took me to one of the rooms where he brought out a condom and raped me.
Crime Guard gathered that when the 23 year-old lady was untied, she went violent and started shattering every property she could lay her hands on. In the process, one of the objects she allegedly threw out of the window, landed on a vehicle belonging to one of the tenants, smashing its windscreen. That attracted neighbours.
The case was reported at Area ‘F’ Ikeja , following which Okereke was arrested . During interrogation, he reportedly claimed to be a cousin to front-line Nollywood actress, Stephanie Okereke, who ironically has a foundation which promotes the well being of women.
He was said to have been released on bail, an action the victim frowned out. The case was thereafter transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID Panti, where the 36-year-old Okereke was rearrested.
He reportedly claimed that the victim destroyed his property , an action that was engendered by the violence meted to her. Okereke was charged to court Thursday. Equally charged was Idris Abubakar, the security guard who allegedly assisted Okereke to tie up the victim. He is an alleged accomplice.
Both men were yesterday arraigned before a Yaba Chief Magistrate’s Court, over a five count charge bordering on conspiracy, assault, rape and threat to life preferred against them by the police.
The police prosecutor Superintendent Godwin Anyanwu, told the court that the defendants committed the alleged offence on November 6, 2014.
He said that the incident took place at Mende, Maryland in ikeja area of Lagos state between 2:30-11pm.
He said that the first defendant allegedly raped and assaulted one lady (names withheld).
Anyanwu also claimed that the defendant unlawfully had canal knowledge of the victim without her consent, adding that he beat her up with a brown belt and also threatened her with a knife.
According to the prosecutor, the offences committed,contravened sections 409, 171, 261 and punishable under section 56 and 258 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
Earlier, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. The defendants counsel, R. Amokea, urged the court to grant the defendants bail in the most liberal term, as the offence committed, was a bailable offence and that they were still presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The prosecutor Anyanwu objected to the bail application, on the grounds that the charges levelled against the defendants were charges of rape, sexual assault and occasional harm.
However, Magistrate Aje-Afunwa, granted the first defendant bail in the sum of N200,000, with one responsible surety in like sum, while the second defendant was admitted bail in the sum of N50,000, with one surety in like sum.
She also said that the surety must either be a relative, a cleric or a community leader.
The matter was adjourned till January 9, 2015, for trial.