A 19-year-old student of the University of Lagos (Unilag) has narrated to a court the ordeal of how, at 17, she was gang-raped by eight fellow students and blackmailed with a video recording of the assault.
Speaking at the Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court today Tuesday February 26th, the victim, name withheld, made the revelation while giving evidence during the trial of five students over the alleged crimes.
The students namely Moboluwaji Omowole, 19, Chuka Chukwu, 19, Peace Nwankama, 19, James Aguedu, 20 and Osemeka Josephine, 20, are all standing trial for the defilement of a child, permitting the defilement of a child in a premises.
The lady told the court that she was introduced to her abusers by her friend and roommate, Peace Nwankama (the third defendant) who she trusted deeply. She alleged that Nwankaba lured her to be gang raped.
“I had three roommates which included Peace Nwankaba, during the course of being in the room, Peace and I became friends, she even introduced me to her parents on our matriculation day between Jan. 13 to 17 2017. One day in the early afternoon around 12pm, Peace called me on the phone and asked if I was around and asked if I wanted to hang with another boy called Yinka (now at large) at High Rise which is a staff quarters hostel at Unilag.
“At the time I did not know what High Rise was, I told her and she said it was a hostel where people stay. I told her I was not sure that I will think about it, she cut the call and called me again within the space of five minutes but this time it was Yinka who was talking to me.
“He told me it was supposed to be a hang out and Peace will be there, at that point I agreed and since I didn’t know where High Rise was, Yinka and Peace told me to meet them at Jaja Hall, a male hostel at Unilag.
“When I got there I only met Yinka with James (fourth defendant). When I saw Yinka I asked of Peace and he said she is at High Rise.”
She said when she got to High Rise, she was led to a small building behind High Rise where she met Seriki (now at large) and a group of boys but was assured by Yinka that
Peace will come to the premises.
“James led me up a flight of stairs and we got into a room, there were boys outside the corridor because some of the boys who were downstairs had come upstairs. I entered the room with Seriki and James but Yinka stayed outside, when I entered the room I met two boys and a girl the boys are- Emmanuel (at large), I cannot remember the name of the second boy and Josephine (the fifth defendant).
“When James and Seriki entered the room, Josephine and the two boys left and at this point it was clear to me that Peace was not in High Rise. Yinka then asked me to have sex with him, I said no but he continued forcefully persisting and removing my clothes at this point, two other people who were looking into the room entered the room and held me down while Yinka had forceful sex with me.
“In no particular order, the following took their turns – Daniel, James, Yinka, Bolu (first defendant), Seriki, Emmanuel and two other people who I don’t know their name. They were eight men.”
The lady said that following the gang rape, she was subjected to further sexual assault by the some of defendants and their accomplices.
“After they did that, they all came into the room including Josephine and they started playing music, four people held me down and were touching me all around while Josephine was either kissing one of then dancing with one of them. At a point Josephine asked if she could kiss me while I was trying to fight off the people around. I was thinking of leaving but I was outnumbered and I didn’t know if those downstairs were part of them.
“Eventually Josephine kissed me and they made comments like its not that bad etc. When they were molesting me, there was a guy who was sitting down and video recording all that was happening on a phone.
“My first instinct was to get the phone from him but I thought I was outnumbered. At a point when they were leaving, they led me outside the building and they told me they had a video of what happened. They said if I don’t want to be popular in school, I have to answer them anytime they wanted to have sex. They collected my number and shared it among themselves,” she said.
The lady said she kept the incident to herself because didn’t know how her father would react. She told the court she was subjected to further gang rape by the boys who now included Simi, Randy, Idowu and Eddy (who are all at large). She alleged that some of the assault and defilement occurred at Chukwu’s (second defendants) parents’ house in Pako area of Yaba.
Miss Z told the court that to add to her ordeal, rumours about the video tape began to make rounds in the school premises.
“I started hearing stories and the narrative was as though I wanted it, Henry a friend of Peace told me that I was popular at Jaja Hall and that there was a video and I wanted to get away from it. I had a friend (name withheld) who we both belonged to the an organization in school, he liked me and he is the type to find out about everyone he likes when he heard about the story and video he asked questions.
“Unknown to me, he reported to the school authorities and on Mar. 1, 2017, he told me to follow him to Ecobank to withdraw money but unknown to me, he wanted me to see the school counsellor. The school counsellor beckoned to me, I saw my biodata in her hands, she asked me to follow her and at this point I knew who she was.
“I thought I was going to be expelled, she pulled out a form and asked me to state what happened and I told her everything, she told me the school was behind my back and she said they will be caught, ” Miss Z said.
She said the counselor asked her to lure Omowole (first defendant) to a place within the school premises where he was arrested, taken to the office of the Dean Student Affairs where he provided the names of the rest of his alleged accomplices.
The student said she was admitted at the Unilag Medical Center for three days where the parents of arrested students tried soliciting her not to do anything about the case.
“From the Medical Center, I went home and stayed for three weeks, during that time their parents were trying to bribe my family with between N3million to N5million. My family declined as my mother and brothers were very supportive,” she said.
The presiding judge, Justice Sururat Soladoye, adjourned the case until March 18th for cross-examination of Miss Z.