Among the people liv-ing with her were two males called Aboy and Japan and two females called Oluchi and Nkiru. “The two males slept in a room that was close to the corridor where I usually slept. At a point, they began to wake me at night to come and sleep in their room. The first day they took me into their room, they raped me and warned me not to tell any-body about what they did to me.” Her assailants, she further alleged, did not deem it fit to spare her even for one day as they made the sexual assault on her an everyday affair.
“I almost said it to other people in the house when the pain was becoming too much but the fear that they might hurt me prevented me from doing so. I never enjoyed what they were doing to me but I continued to bear it all along. The two of them slept with me one after the other and right now, I can’t control urine.
“I neither knew of sexual relationship nor engaged in one with anybody until they began to rape me. They never gave me anything for raping me. They were just doing it to me because they knew that I had nobody to run to for help. They always raped and left me to my fate. After raping me, blood would come out of my private parts and stain my pants and body. They al-ways did it at night when everybody would have gone to bed.
Hajia was not around all the while they were raping me. She trav-elled all through out that period and I don’t really know where she travelled to,” she recounted. Her travail was worsened by the alleged unconcerned attitude of her boss, who she alleged was also always beating her at the slightest provocation, with no human feel-ing expected of a mother to her child.
“Apart from the two guys who forced me to have sex with them several times, other members of the household always flogged me with whatever they could lay their hands on. They always gave me white rice and stew every morning and afternoon without meat but they never gave me din-ner throughout the time I lived with them.
Hajia never bought me any cloth and did not enrol me in any school throughout the period I stayed with him. She has five chil-dren and all of them are attending good pri-vate schools. “I didn’t have all these marks on my body before I got to Hajia’s house.
It was the series of flogging that I received from Ha-jia, her children and other members of her household that left all the indelible marks on my body. The blood stain in my eyes was as a result of their beating. “There was a night that I was terribly hungry and saw Gala in one of their rooms and ate it. When they knew that I ate the Gala, the two females in the house Oluchi and Nkiru used cane to beat the hell out of me. One of them held me to the ground while the other whipped me mercilessly.
Despite the fact that I begged them that it was hunger that made me to eat the Gala they never considered my plea. “Before then, there was a day that one of Hajia’s children pushed me while I was washing plates and one of the plates fell and broke into pieces. Immediate Hajia saw that a plate was broken, she took me into a room, locked me up and beat me. After beating me, she gave some of her children the whip to flog me.
I am older than some of the children but because I was at their mother’s mercy, I could not resist them. Ha-jia never gave me any money as salary or for my upkeep,” she alleged. Chioma, Favour’s aunt, a petty trader with four children, who said she took the custody of Favour and her elder brother after they were abandoned by their mother bemoaned the plight of her niece in the hands of Hajia. “When I saw that the burden of taking care of the children was too much for her, I took Favour and her brother to stay with me.
Later on, I didn’t have sufficient means of meeting their needs and because I want-ed them to go to school, I gave Favour to my friend called Ebere to train her in school for me because I felt she was financially better. After giving Favour to Ebere in November 2010, I didn’t know that she had handed her over to another woman in Festac.
All my efforts to see Favour at Ebere’s house proved abortive as she kept giving me ex-cuses. I later got hints about her where-abouts and traced her to the place. When I got there, I saw her but Hajia was not around. I left my mobile phone number for her to call me. She later called me thereaf-ter and asked me to come and pick Favour before she died in her house. “The day I went to her house to pick my niece, Hajia again was not at home.
While I was still there, she called to say that she travelled and pleaded with me to take Favour along. Immediately she finished speaking with me, she called her work-ers and instructed them to pack Favours things and hand them over to me.
As I was about taking Favour away, I saw blood stain in her eyes and when I asked her what was wrong with her eyes, she said it was a stick that injured her eyes. It was a small boy in the compound that revealed to me that it was one Oluchi and Nkiru that beat her for eating Gala in the house.
I did not see the other marks on her body that very day because she was wearing a long gown. I only got to know about the marks recently. I later took her to her father immediately I took her away from Hajia’s house. It was her father who subsequently reported the matter to Zone 2 Police Station at Festac.”
Decrying the treatment meted out to Favour the South-West coordinator of Na-tional Human Rights Commission, Mrs. Segun Mausi, said the commission would not hesitate to file a civil case against the accused. She asserted that several crimes had been committed against Favour but only child abuse case was mentioned by the police.
“We cannot arrest the accused because we are not law enforcement agents. All the same, we would file a civil suit against the accused. Several crimes have been committed against the innocent girl but only child abuse has been mentioned. We would go through the AIG in Zone 2 and if he would not do what we want, we would take it to the IG.
Our interest in this matter is to make sure that the person responsible for inflicting these injuries on the poor girl is brought to book no matter how highly placed the person may be,” she said. Reacting to Obilor’s allegations against her and her workers in a telephone inter-view with Saturday Mirror, Hajia Amina Ukaegbu debunked all the allegations, which she described as lies.
“All that the girl is saying are a bundle of lies. Nobody raped her and nobody maltreated her. If it was a rape case, how come the police refused to take it seri-ously? The police turned them down and refused to take the matter to court because they know there is no case in it. I was the one who called her aunt to come and take her away.
It is not as if they came to pick her because she is suffering here. I did not treat her badly. The girl is a liar,” she said. When contacted, the Police spokesper-son in Lagos, Mr. Joseph Jayeoba, said the case is being investigated. “The matter has been reported. Investigation is ongoing. We will take the appropriate action upon the completion of our investigation,” he said.