of her, 16-year-old Janet (not real name) happily agreed to leave her
hometown in Akwa Ibom State to work as a housemaid for the family of
Mrs. Perpectual Eze in Lagos.
started living with the family, who promised her care, boarding and
feeding in exchange for her domestic work, she had allegedly been raped
by the man of the house, Mr. Afrobet Eze, three times.
in Pidgin English how she was raped by her ‘uncle’, and then tortured by
his wife, who verbally abused her as a “useless girl who will never
amount to anything.”
Tuesday of last week (January 10). My aunty (Mrs. Eze) went to the
market that morning. Electricity came on and their children and I rushed
to the sitting room to watch a movie.
children slept off and my uncle came down from the room and asked me
what I was doing. I told him I was not doing anything. He asked where my
aunty was and I told him she went to the market
‘Do you love me?’ I did not understand what he meant. So, I said,
‘uncle what do you mean’? He asked how old I was and I lied that I did
not know my age. He asked again if I loved him and I said I did not
understand. I had his daughter on my lap at the time and she was
sleeping. I then stood up from the chair to go and sit in the balcony.
He came to meet me again and asked if I loved him.
following me around the house. I started crying when he won’t stop
following me around. Then, I went to my room and he said, ‘You think you
are strong abi?’ He left me alone. When my aunty came back
from the market and found me crying, she asked what was wrong but I was
afraid to tell her.
prepared them for school. My aunty went to her shop and I was the only
one at home with uncle. He was upstairs while I was downstairs washing
clothes, plates. I was also trying to cut the grass in the compound.”
suddenly swung open and she was suddenly facing her ‘uncle’ who
immediately grabbed her towel.
towel, I began to shout because I knew some people live beside our
compound. I thought somebody would hear.
phone to go and charge it in our neighbour’s apartment. I did as he
asked and he went out too. About one hour after, he came back and told
me to go and bring the phone.
him with a wire and knife and he said if I did not do what he wanted, he
would kill me right there and bury me. He said if his wife asked where I
was, he would say I had run away. I ran inside my room and he ran after
me. That was the day he first forced himself on me.
crying till his children came back from school. When the wife came back
from work and asked me why I was crying again, I did not know what to
tell her. I was afraid.”
aunty went on a journey to the East and around 11pm that day, armed with
the same wire and knife, ‘uncle’ forced himself on her again.
“That day, aunty took her children and I to her sister’s house to stay
there for the period she would be away. But the sister later said she
wanted to travel to the village. We went back to the house.
same thing again and he raped me. I told him that day that I would tell
my aunty when she came back. But he said he would kill me if I did and
nothing would happen.”
could spill the beans, decided to pre-empt her by telling his wife the
opposite of what happened.
what you did to my husband.’ I don’t know what uncle told her but she
said I forced myself on her husband,” the girl said.
following day, Mrs. Eze called her sister and both of them put her in
the middle to question her.
while her sister wielded a small pestle. They beat her as they pestered
her to confess her sins, the girl said.
and help me but she told me to shut up. My aunty went out and carried a
keg of water which she poured on me.
me again. My aunty kicked me in the tummy. When some neighbours started
asking why I was shouting so much, the husband came down from upstairs. I
then used the opportunity to run out of the house.”
brothers in the village but the young man was not helping her at all. I
thought if she came to Lagos, at least she would have a roof over her
head. Now, I regret it because I believe every single thing she said
about that family. Blessing never lies.”
her was because she wanted to run away. She stole a phone and some
jewellery. That is why she concocted all these lies.
don’t even know her age. My wife is the one who brought her home. It is
true my wife went to Cameroon at a time. I beat her that day only
because she took my children to play outside our compound. I did not
rape her that day or on any other day.”
Rights Foundation, which has since reported the matter to the police at
the police division along the LASU-Iyana Iba Road.
Rights Foundation, Esther Ogwu, said she had taken the girl for
treatment and testing at the Mirabel, Lagos State’s sexual assault
referral centre in Ikeja.
kind of thing every day and it is heart-breaking that some men have
refused to rein in the beasts in them. This is a case we will continue
to follow up but more importantly, the girl needs a home where she can
grow up to overcome the trauma of what has happened to her,” Ogwu said.