“The first time I slept with her was some time last year. I came back from the shop that particular day and I don’t know what came over me, I just found myself sleeping with my daughter”. These were the words of 49-year old Amoda Bola arrested for allegedly impregnating his 14-year old daughter, Boluwatife. Amoda was not only arrested for sleeping with his daughter, he was also alleged of turning the teenager into a prostitute.
According to the police, Amoda invited men to his house to have sex with his daughter after which he was paid. Those that were also accused of sleeping with the teenage girl are: Ahmed Ogunkoya (30), Muyiwa Adeoye (48), David Sunday Solaja (69), Emmanuel Olusanya (50)and Joshua Olaniran (50). Amoda, a dry cleaner was arrested by police operatives at Ode Remo Divisional Headquarters in Remo North Local Government area of the state on Wednesday, August 17. He was arrested following a complaint received by the police from his daughter.
Boluwatife insisted that her father was responsible for the pregnancy, claiming that her father was the only person who slept with her within the period she got pregnant. Narrating how he began the unholy affair with her daughter to New Telegraph, Amoda said, “I started sleeping with her when she was 13 years old. “I slept with her twice last year and twice this year. I can’t explain how the whole thing happened, it is the work of the devil. “I don’t have a wife, my wife is dead. The second time I slept with her (Boluwatife), my girlfriend was around, it happened like the first time, I just came back from the shop in the evening. My girlfriend who came to spend some time with me went to the market to get some things for us to cook, immediately she left the house, I pounced on my daughter and I slept with her. “When my girlfriend came back from the market, my daughter told her what happened between us and that led to the end of the relationship with my girlfriend. “This year around June, I slept with her again”.
Apparently in an attempt to cover his tracks, Amoda sent her daughter to the doctor to procure an abortion for her. “When she got pregnant, I queried her, she didn’t tell me who impregnated her and I took her to the hospital for a pregnancy test and it was confirmed that she was one month pregnant. “I asked her if wanted to keep the baby or get rid of it so that she could continue her education. She told me she would like to continue with her education and I told her to procure the abortion. “I took her to the doctor to procure the abortion.” Amoda, however denied impregnating his daughter and turning her to a “prostitute”. He accused one of the men of impregnating his daughter. He admitted collecting money from the other men, but claimed the money was for the purpose of procuring the abortion. “Those that were arrested with me, I don’t know them personally. They are those that wooed my daughter. I didn’t invite them to sleep with her. “When she got pregnant, I collected N5,000 from one of them, named Joshua. “I also approached the other men to pay for her abortion.” The Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole had ordered the immediate transfer of the suspects to anti human trafficking and child labour unit of the state Criminal Investigation Department for discreet investigation and possible prosecution.
Rising rape cases
Boluwatife’s case is just one of the many recorded in the state in recent times. The police had in July arrested an herbalist, Samson Ogundele for allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl (name withheld). The suspect allegedly raped the teenager, a hairdressing apprentice, when she visited him for consultation. Teenage girls have become prey in the hands of sexual predators who often take advantage of their vulnerability. According to available records at the Ogun State Police command, no fewer than 64 cases of rape were recorded last year compared to 44 cases recorded in 2019. The records further shown that, 73 cases of defilement of minors were reported in 2020 as against 39 cases recorded in 2019 while 11 cases of sexual abuse were recorded in the state.
Crisis levels – Amnesty
But according to international human rights watchdog, Amnesty International, Nigeria faces “crisis levels” of rape with most survivors denied justice and rapists escaping prosecution despite a vow by authorities to battle sexual violence. In a report published last November, the human rights watchdog said hundreds of rape incidents go unreported because of corruption, stigma and victim-blaming in Africa’s most populous country. “Concrete actions have not been taken to tackle the rape crisis in Nigeria with the seriousness it deserves,” Amnesty had said in a report quoting its Nigeria Director, Osai Ojigho. “Women and girls continue to be failed by a system that makes it increasingly difficult for survivors to get justice,” he said in the report titled “A Harrowing Journey; Access to Justice for Women and Girls Survivors of Rape”. Researchers interviewed 14 rape survivors aged between 12 and 42, as well as the parents of seven survivors who are young children. Officials from Nigeria’s justice ministry did not answer calls seeking comment, and another official from the ministry of women’s affairs was not immediately available. Police said in June 2020 that the country had seen a sharp rise in cases of rape and domestic abuse of women during coronavirus lockdowns. Women Affairs Minister Pauline Tallen had also said the number of abuse cases against women and children had tripled as victims were trapped at home. State governors announced a state of emergency over the issue and said they were committed to ensuring that offenders faced justice.
Lack of support
But Amnesty said Nigeria struggled with cultural stereotypes, failures of law enforcement to investigate, and a lack of support for survivors. “The fear of not being believed, or even being blamed for being raped, is creating a dangerous culture of silence that prevents survivors from seeking justice,” it said. According to the UN children’s agency UNICEF, one in four Nigerian women is sexually abused before they turn 18 — and the majority of sexual abuse cases in the country are not prosecuted.