By Onozure Dania
Lagos— A woman’s narration of how she was allegedly raped by seven men in a gutter sometime in 2014 before Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere left many in tears, as she said she had to relocate to Port Harcourt because of shame.
The victim, who was led in evidence by the Lagos State prosecutor, Miss Monisola Osibogun, said on April 11, 2014, she and her sister boarded a bus from Ejigbo heading to 7/8 bus stop, and after alighting from the bus, some boys started pursuing them, adding that while she and her sister were running, one of the defendants brought out cutlass and pushed her into a gutter.
The four defendants are Tochukwu Ilom, Confidence Oziegbe, Simeon Peter and Nnemeka Ugochukwu.
The victim, who was crying in the witness box while testifying, said: “The fourth defendant tied my legs to the flower, the third defendant used his cutlass on me, tied my hands and pushed me into the gutter. While inside the gutter, the first defendant pulled his pair of trousers, held on to my neck and raped me. He slapped me and said I should stop looking at his face.
“The seven of them all took turns to rape me inside the gutter; with my hands and legs tied, the second defendant collected my phone and purse, he then asked me the actual amount that was in the purse.
“After they finished raping me, they untied me and I struggled out of the gutter. I was going naked when the first defendant asked me to come back and put on my trousers. Because of the fear, I wore it wrongly and left, then the first defendant called me back and pointed a gun at me and said I should wear my trousers properly.
“When I started running, I saw three people pursuing me and I started running back and met the first defendant at the same spot and he said ‘you this useless girl where are you going to.’ I told him that I saw three men running after me, he then showed me another way to take. At that point when I was running I heard my sister calling me, immediately I ran towards her, I saw her with a policeman and I fainted.
“After I fainted, I found myself at Igando Police Station. When I woke up, I saw the first defendant and I told the policeman, this is one of the boys that raped me, but he denied that he was the one, the policeman pulled his pair of trousers and discovered that there was blood on his private part.
“I was invited to State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, where they brought seven men, but I was only able to identify these four, because I did not know the other three. After pointing out the four defendants, I was taken to two different hospitals, where I spent one month.”
The victim, who said the defendants stole her phone, wallet and cash, told the court that she wants justice to be done in the case.
The defendants were arraigned in January 2015, on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy, robbery and rape preferred against them by the police.
The Lagos State prosecutor, Miss Monisola Osibogun, said the defendants committed the alleged offences on April 11, 2014, at about 6 am, at 7/8 bus stop along Airport Road, Lagos.
Osibogun said that the defendants robbed the victim of her Samsung Galaxy phone valued at N40,000, a wallet and N2,200 and raped her.
However, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the offences.