…Funmi opens up on how her uncle impregnated her, terminated the pregnancy and snatched her daughter
By Ebun Sessou
A32-year-old deaf lady, Funmi Oladepo, walked into the Vanguard premises recently, crying and calling on all to help her.
She beckoned on staff and non-staff of the organization to rescue her and her child from relatives she alleged had denied her access to her daughter, Enioluwa. She also claimed that her Uncle, Kola, and his wife have been torturing her daughter.
Funmi, who was deaf and dropped out of senior secondary school after her father allegedly married a second wife, displayed a placard with the inscription, “they want me to commit suicide but my enemies will not see the end of me, to the extent that they went with my daughter”. “I want justice, yes, yes, give me it to me”. “I have rights and it should be enforced”. “Whoever values life should help me out on this matter”; among others.
Narrating her ordeal in anguish and pain, Funmi who engaged the correspondent using both signs and writing, lamented that after her report was published in one of the dailies, her Uncles Kola and Rafiu Ganikale inflicted her with another round of agony.
She said that her Uncle Kola and his wife decided to make her life miserable because she took her case to the press.
“My Uncle’s wife accused me of reporting the family to the press; as a result they sent me out of their house and snatched my daughter from me”.
Asked how and when she was sent out, she recounts, “in July 2017, when flood destroyed our house in Ilaje, area of Ajiran in Ajah, I relocated to Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG camp and was sleeping there with my daughter. The officers of the camp were collecting money from me but after a while, they sent me out of the camp and I relocated to another camp called, the Success camp.
“But, I wanted my daughter to go to school, so I decided to take her to one of my uncles, Mr. Taiwo, and he promised to take care of her. That was in August 2017. I also used that period to work in some places so that I could get money to take care of my daughter. I worked in a sachet water factory and was also into trading.
“I did not know how Uncle Taiwo connected Uncle Kola who told him to bring me and my daughter to his house. Uncle Kola sent some messages to me on facebook and told me that he was going to take care of me. We stayed in his house from Oct 19 2017 to January 2 2018. Little did I know that he had ulterior motives.
“I started observing some mischievous moves by my uncle and his wife. Uncle Kola deceived me. At a point he told me the only form of help he could render was to send my daughter abroad. There was a time he told me that he had a friend who could pay a fortune for a child’s virginity.
“I rejected his offer and told him, I wanted my daughter around me. He pleaded with me but I refused. Each time he opened up the discussion, I ignored him.
“After a while, he changed his attitude and starting maltreating me and my daughter. I told him I would not allow him destroy my daughter’s life, the way he destroyed mine.
Asked what she meant by the above statement, she said, “I am the first child of my late mother. My mother’s relatives buried my mother without my consent. The circumstances that surrounded her death were not normal. She was poisoned at the hospital. She had three girls. My late mother was 17 years when my father impregnated her at the church. He was the choir master while my mother was one of the choristers. He impregnated her a month after his first wife died.
My dad threw my mother out of the house because she did not give birth to a male child. He then married my mother’s best friend because he wanted a male child. He wanted someone that could inherit his property.
My father took me and my siblings to the village. Then, I was four years old. In 1995, he came to the village and when he was going, I sneaked into his car and I hid myself in the booth. But, I was not comfortable in the booth, so I screamed out of the booth and they stopped.
“Angrily, my father took me back to Lagos in January and handled me over to my mother. My mother later took me to her elder brother (Uncle Kola) because of her financial constraint. My uncle subjected me to all forms of child abuse. He was sleeping with me and he did two abortions for me. He was maltreating me and sleeping with me any time he wanted. He was the one that deflowered me. He impregnated me before he traveled out of Nigeria.
“My late mother was mad about the incident and reported the case to the family but the family prevailed on her and my Grandma (my maternal), took me to a traditional clinic so as to abort the pregnancy. She claimed, I was going to truncate her son’s traveling with my flimsy allegations. She aborted the pregnancy for me. It was the abortion that resulted to my deafness.
“At the traditional clinic, I was given a drug (concoction) by the native doctor, after which I passed out. When I opened my eyes, I met myself at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH where I was treated. Little, did I know that the medication I took at the native doctor’s clinic had affected my sense of hearing by the time I was discharged.
“I was battling life with deafness, everybody deserted me. My family members abandoned me. My siblings also left me and I started struggling with life. The hatred was intense to the extent that when my mother died, her family members buried her without my consent. The circumstances that led to her death are still contentious.
“In 2003, I dropped out of school because my father couldn’t sponsor my education. I couldn’t buy biology textbook (N85,000), was owing school fees among others. I was 16 years and in SSS at Awaru Islamic Girls High School, Ojokoro. My mother was financially incapacitated. Because of my mother’s financial incapacitation, Uncle Kola subjected me to all sorts of humiliation and sexual assault. I cannot explain the level of sexual assault I was subjected to when I was living in his house. I had abortions for him and he turned me to his sex tool.
“Later, I left his house and went on the street. I started hawking on the street and in the process, I met a friend who introduced me to a man. My moved on with life and in the process, I was saving money for a corrective surgery when for my ears when some men took advantage of me and impregnated me again and had my daughter, Enioluwa. And I started taking care of my daughter. I decided to move on with my life.
Unfortunately, last year July, flood destroyed my home in Ilaje area of Ajah, so, I relocated to RCCG camp. It was in the process of struggling with life that I came in contact with my uncle Taiwo who promised to help me and my daughter.
“I did not know how Uncle Taiwo connected Uncle Kola who told him to bring me and my daughter to his house. Uncle Kola sent some messages to me on facebook and told me that he was going to take care of me. My daughter and I stayed in his house for a while and within the period, him and his wife maltreated me and my daughter.
“He accused me of stealing phone and labeled the family negatively. He and his wife threw me out of their house and snatched my daughter from me.
I do not want him to destroy my daughter’s life the way he destroyed me. I want my daughter back.
Meanwhile, efforts to contact Funmi’s Uncle on the issue proved abortive.