It’s been 10 days since she was violently raped by an okada rider who took her home from her aunty’s shop, but 14-year-old Esther (not real names) was still writhing in pain and sobbing when our correspondent visited her on Tuesday.
With little signs of attaining puberty, she looked very young and innocent. Even though she tried as much as she could to hide her pains, a mix of anger and regret was still written boldly on her face, and she occasionally appeared lost in some painful thoughts.
She sat quietly on a wooden stool in her aunty’s shop and looked round to make sure no one was listening or watching as she made to share the saddest story of her life with Saturday PUNCH.
Until penultimate Saturday, Esther, who hails from Benue State and currently an apprentice in her aunty’s cake shop was a virgin, but she lost her virginity to a man she had never met before and in a violent way. She said her aunty
At 14, she already had an experience that might hurt her for life. Not only has she insisted on not forgiving the okada rider, identified as Sharafa Wasiu, for violating her, Esther, who has scars all over her body occasioned by the incident, even wished Wasiu a quick journey to the great beyond “because of what he did to me. I feel sad anytime I remember that day.”
She maintained that she had been doing all she could to remain a virgin until she was married but all those efforts to safeguard one of her most treasured assets, virginity, became a waste when Wasiu, after dropping her infront of her house, trailed her into the house and raped her in broad daylight.
She said, “That Saturday, I stopped a bike from the front of our shop to take me home. When we got home, he dropped me in front of the house, I paid him and I went in, not knowing he was still lurking around. I thought he had left, not knowing that he wheeled his motorcycle to the side of the house and stayed there, watching me. It was about 2pm.
“My aunty had told me to help her clean her shoes, so the moment I entered, I started packing the shoes outside so I could clean them. I used the kitchen entrance and I closed it when I packed the first round.
“When I was in the room packing the remaining shoes, I heard the sound of the door and I asked who was there. I didn’t hear anything, so I went to check who or what was there. The next thing I saw was the okada man that dropped me a short while ago.
“Immediately, he pushed me to the floor with so much force, overpowered me, being a taller and more hefty person, he pulled my skirt and pants and raped me. I struggled with him but I didn’t succeed. Apart from the pain from the forceful entry and the terrible smell oozing out of his body, he was rubbing my body against the floor, inflicting serious injuries on my body. I kept shouting but nobody heard me because I was the only one at home.”
She explained that when Wasiu released and spilled his Fluid on her body, coupled with the blood that was coming out from her private part, she thought her trauma was over, thus, she pushed him away and made for the door. But unknown to her, Wasiu was busy gathering momentum for the second round.
She said, “When he finished, I pushed him away, pulled up my skirt and ran to the door to escape. I barely opened the door when he suddenly ran after me, pushed me and pinned me to the floor. I was gasping but he tore all my clothes, leaving me stark Unclad, and dragged me on the floor, trying to take me inside so he could rape me again. I can never forgive him for what he did to me.
“By that time, blood was all over my body. I kept shouting but there was no one to rescue me. As he was trying to remove his trousers, I managed to escape (Unclad) and I ran through one side of the house while he ran through the other side to get me. That was how one of our neighbours saw me and quickly called on others who mobilised to the place at once and caught him. They also seized his bike.”
Her aunty, identified simply as Felicia, who sat close by while she recounted her ordeal, lamented that if she had known such would befall her ward, she would not have told her to go home.
She said, “Usually we don’t work on Saturday but that day, we went for an event. When we finished, I went somewhere and I sent her to go and give some food items to my attendants in the shop. I told her to go back home after that. And she did.
“We moved into that house about three months ago. It’s located around Onolu Road, Igbe in Ikorodu, while my shop is around Medical Road. When I heard about the incident, I rushed home and met them, but the boy, who claimed to be 23 years old, kept denying it. He was even making calls and threatening to call his guys who would deal with us. With the help of the security men on our street, we dragged him to the Igbogbo police station.
“It was at the police station that he confessed. He said it was the devil’s work and that he only made an attempt to do it but did not do anything. The shreds of Esther’s clothes are still with the police. He confessed that he parked his motorcycle beside the house and stayed inside the compound for about 10 minutes before he went inside.
“They took our statement and gave us a letter to go to the General Hospital for test. She did series of tests, which confirmed that she was raped. I wish the incident didn’t happen because even the parents of this girl are not yet aware. I want them to come to Lagos before I tell them. It’s not the kind of news one could share on the phone.”
Felicia pointed out that the girl had been on drugs since the incident happened and that she had been a recluse, whilst avoiding men the much she could. She lamented that their house had already been known with such a “shameful” tag. “That boy needs to learn a lesson,” she added.
Our correspondent’s close look at Wasiu’s picture, which was taken when he was being questioned by the sympathisers who surrounded him after the incident, gave him away as his belt and button appeared as if they were hurriedly-fastened, leaving a clear impression that it was done in a rush.
A police source confirmed to our correspondent that Wasiu had been charged to court exactly three days after (penultimate Tuesday) and was being remanded in the Kirikiri prison on the order of the court. The source added that “the matter would come up for hearing sometime in October.”
Even though Wasiu is cooling off in Kirikiri tentatively, Esther has already been assaulted and might live with such painful memory for the rest of time.