A woman, who identified herself simply as Mrs Ijeoma, on Monday, told a Lagos State High Court how her 12-year-old daughter became the sixth rape victim of her neighbour, Nwanne Nwaora, whom she alleged is a serial rapist.
Ijeoma testified in the ongoing trial of Nwaora, who was accused of defiling a child on November 10, 2015, at No 55 Aromire Street, Muri Busari, Ogba, Lagos.
The 33-year-old mother, while being led in evidence by the state prosecuting counsel, Mr Y. G. Oshoala, told the court that she became suspicious when she noticed some changes on her daughter’s body and Nwaora told her not to ask her daughter questions.
She said, “Sometime in 2015, on a Tuesday precisely, I discovered strange changes on my daughter’s body. So, I decided to watch her closely and monitor her movement.
“It was later that one of my neighbours, Nwanne Nwaora, approached me and told me to look after my daughter properly, because he had observed her moving around aimlessly. He advised me not to ask my daughter what happened to her or what the problem was. That immediately raised my suspicion.
“And I insisted that I would ask her since I am her mother. I took my daughter into our room later that evening and asked her what was wrong with her and she told me that Nwanne had raped her when I went to the market.
“I immediately took her to the Ikeja General Hospital for a check-up and after series of tests, it was confirmed that my daughter was pregnant; an HIV test was also conducted on her.
“The hospital then referred us to the Isokoko Police station to file a report. We went to the police station, wrote a statement and the police came to my house the next day and arrested him (Nwaora) at his shop. While at the police station, Nwaora denied raping my daughter but insisted that he wanted some of his friends to come and secure his bail.”
The victim’s mother added, “The DPO later told me that it was when his friends came for his bail that the suspect opened up to them and confessed that he raped my daughter. The DPO got so angry with him and he ordered the officers to lock him up in the cell.
“The next day, his younger brother came to beg me to forgive him. The brother told me that he had warned Nwaora on several occasions to stop having sex with innocent children. His brother told me that it was because of an issue of child rape that made them run away from Delta State to Lagos. I also have an eyewitness, who was present when his brother told me these.
“The matter was later charged before the Ogba Magistrate Court 4, while the government sent my daughter to ‘The Shelter’ owned by the Bimbo Odukoya Foundation. My daughter was kept at ‘The Shelter’ for nine months until she was delivered of a baby girl.”
Under cross-examination by the defence lawyer, Worer Obuagbaka, the mother told the court that the defendant had raped over six children and that her daughter was not his only victim.
She said, “This man is a rapist. My daughter is not the only child he has raped. She is the sixth victim. There are five other children, who are his victims. It was during a test at the Mirabel Centre that it was discovered that my daughter was pregnant.”
The presiding judge, Justice Josephine Oyefeso, adjourned the matter till January 21, 2019, for the continuation of trial.