By Evelyn Usman
A 13-year-old girl, yesterday, disclosed how her uncles— Saviour Philip, 35, and Paul Philip, 17—took turns to rape her in their one-room apartment on Olowolagba Street, off Odunsi, Bariga area of Lagos State.
She also revealed that one of the suspects also assaulted her eight-year-old cousin, while their mother was away.
Vanguard gathered that the victims and their mother moved into the suspects’ apartment five months ago, due to their parents’ inability to get an accommodation.
The accommodation problem also forced the children to drop out of school.
Speaking with Vanguard, the teenager disclosed that her uncles usually assaulted her sexually whenever her mother was away.
‘He threatened to kill me’
According to the Junior Secondary School 2 student, “Paul started it. He usually did it in the afternoon when my mother and other tenants were away. I was arranging my siblings’ clothes one afternoon when he came from behind, lifted me and dropped me on the floor.
“He covered my mouth when I wanted to shout. When he was done, he threatened to kill me if I told my mother or anyone.
“When he is finished with me, he would call my little cousin inside and asked me to stay outside. At times, I would see him dipping his fingers into my cousin’s private part.
“Paul is supposed to be in SSS 3, but he said that he didn’t like going to school, particularly on the day he wanted to do it.
“Saviour also did it. But in his case, he penetrated my anus. The first day he did it, I shouted because of the pains, but he covered my mouth with clothes. When he was done, he brought out juju (charms) and said that he will invoke it to kill me if I tell anyone.
“I refused to tell anyone because I was afraid to die. Even when I threatened to tell my mother, Paul boasted that she will not do anything to him and that if I did, they would chase us out of the house.
‘Why I exposed them’
“I was forced to open up two weeks ago after my mother beat me because of Paul. She overheard me insulting Paul. Instead of asking me why, she picked up a heavy stick and started beating me with it and at the same time, reminded me that Paul was not just my relation, but my senior as well.
“Out of annoyance, I summoned up courage and told my mother that the reason why I was rude to Paul was because he and his elder brother had been sleeping with me.
“At that point, she held Paul’s shirt, shook him and at the same time demanded to know how true my claim was.”
Her mother, Ekaete, corroborated the victim’s claim, adding that the case was reported at the Bariga Police Division, consequent upon which the suspects were arrested.
She stated that while at the station, her twin sister, whose eight-year-old daughter was later discovered to also have been assaulted, visited the suspects’ mother’s shop to report the matter, only to be beaten up.
She also stated that she only got to know about her niece’s assault at the hospital.
According to her, “I did not know that my eight-year-old niece was also assaulted until we got to Mirabel Centre, where my daughter was referred to for treatment. She said Saviour was always ‘fingering’ her and the result of the test at the hospital affirmed that.
“The suspects are my distant relatives. I moved into their apartment with my daughter, niece and unborn baby, pending when we will get an accommodation, while my husband was putting up with his friend.
“This wicked act started in June, when I went to deliver in the hospital. I never suspected they could do such a thing to these children each time I left them in their care because we are related.”
The case was transferred to the Gender Unit of the state’s Police Command, from where the suspects were charged to Magistrate Court 2, Ikeja, yesterday.
They could, however, not meet the bail condition of N400,000 each, given by Magistrate Osunsanmi.
Consequently, Paul was remanded at a forester home in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while Saviour was remanded at the Kirikiri Prisons, with the case adjourned to December 4.