Lawyers and litigants were yesterday stunned when a nine-year-old pupil (name withheld) narrated to Justice Sybil Nwaka of the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja how a 40-year-old policeman, Andy Eghobamien, lured her into his apartment and defiled her on numerous occasions.
The child made the sad allegation while testifying in the on going trial Eghobamien, whi is facing on a one-count charge of defilement contrary to Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The state had alleged in the charge that the policeman defiled the nine-year-old child on June 6 at Amukoko area of Lagos.
Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015 prescribes a life sentence for anyone found guilty of defilement.
The primary five pupil, who was led in evidence by Miss Inumidun Solarin, from the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, claimed that the policeman defiled her on various occasions.
She testified that the defendant, who was her neighbour, on the last occasion had lured her into his apartment under the pretext of giving her N200 to buy milk for him.
The child further told the court that Eghobamien after defiling her had hid her under his bed when her elder sister was frantically searching for her.
She claimed, “I know Brother Andy (the defendant). He is our neighbour, who lives at the back yard of our house. He is popularly known as ‘Officer’.
“On that day, Brother Andy called me when I got back from school and sent me on an errand. He sent me to go and buy milk for him. Then he gave me N200.
“I bought the milk and when I returned, he asked me to bring it inside his room. He then said I should drop the milk on the table and sit down.
“When I sat down, he now told me to lie on the bed and remove my pant. He now put his penis in my bum bum.He put his penis at my front bum bum (she demonstrates by pointing at her vagina).
“After that, he asked me to hide under the bed when my elder sister came calling my name. One of our neighbours, Chioma, even entered his room to buy recharge card for him, though she didn’t see me, I saw her from under the bed.
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“And because my elder sister was shouting my name and looking for me, officer told me to pretend like nothing happened and that I should pass through the backyard gate.”
The child said that when she was found by her sister she lied and said that she was at her friend’s house and that her sister had insisted that she took her to the friend’s house.
“I started begging her not to beat me, and I told her that I was inside officer’s room. My sister beat me and reported to my father who was very angry.
“When my mummy came back from the market where she sells Abacha (African salad), my sister reported me again.
“This time my mummy threatened to kill me if I don’t tell her what happened. I became afraid and told her the truth.
“Immediately my mummy called all her brothers and they came to our house the following morning and took us to Amukoko police station to report. It was after we made a report at the station that the police came and arrested Brother Andy,” the witness stated.
The child further told the court that she was referred by authorities to the Mirabel Center (a Sexual Assault Referral Center) where the doctors revealed that she had been sexually abused on several occasions by the defendant.
The prosecutor asked “How many times has he done such to you (sexual intercourse)?”
“Many times. I can’t really count,” the child responded.
While being cross-examined by the Defence Counsel, M.L. Ezomo, the child said the reason why she did not report the abuse was because the policeman had threatened to kill her if she told anyone.
She also insisted “no other person touched me except Brother Andy.”
Justice Nwaka has adjourned the case untill October 30 for continuation of trial.