As a lawyer, so many cases frustrate you. One of such is this girl we have been searching for some time now. Her name is Ayoka.
Ayoka should be about 18years old now…that is if she is still alive because her family won’t even cooperate with us and tell us how to locate her.
She important to me and I am frustrated
I first met Ayoka when she was 13 years old.
Her parents are poor. They had given her to one of our big men here in Kwara to be his house help. Your typical pillar of the society. This man is well respected. He is one of those rich men who practiced amala politics; give the people fish but never teach them how to fish.
Apparently, this so called “pillar of the society” was defiling and raping this child! He had initially agreed to pay the girl N5000 for her services in his house but began to pay her N12,000. A family with many children. Their lives was well impacted with what the Chief was paying her daughter…N12,000!
But as a lawyer, I know that if truly, this “pillar of society” wanted to help this poor family, he should’ve offered to send her to school. The girl could still work and go to school as well.
She didn’t because he had ulterior motives.
Imagine a man in his mid-50s to a child of 13!
Well, those who saw it in the Chief’s household decided to mind their own business; I believe someone must have seen that the relationship between the child and the chief was odd. This kind of thing can’t go unnoticed for long…well it did, until the girl became pregnant!
The girl didn’t know what had happened to her. She couldn’t tell her mother; I don’t know, maybe because she felt the mother would blame her. No one really understands why molested children never tell their parents. Anyway, the only other reason for Ayoka is because the Chief warned her not to.
He bought her some drugs and told her to use at particular times…the girl did.
Two days after, he gave her money to go to leave Kwara state and go to Osun state!
Mind you, the girl was about 13 plus at this time and had never left Kwara state!
The girl, fearful, because of course the chief must have threatened her. He drove her to the motor park himself. He told her never to contact any member of her family but she could call only him. He put her in a bus going to Oshogbo and gave her N50,000 to disappear for one week!
See, even if the girl knew what wickedness the chief was meting out to her, she knew her family couldn’t fight it. She knew nobody who could stand up for her. When she got to Oshogbo, she met one girl hawking, who had seen the money the chief gave her and befriended her to steal the money.
She invited Ayoka to her place and that was when Ayoka told her what had happened to her. Well, as things turned out, Ayoka began to bleed profusely from the drugs she had been given. She called the Chief several times but the chief didn’t pick her calls. It was when it appeared that she might have a dead child in her hands that the mother of the girl who took Ayoka in, decided to call Ayoka’s mother.
She told her to come and get her child in Oshobo or the girl would die.
Now, at this point, the question I asked is; was Ayoka’s mother looking for her child?
Did she go to the chief to ask why her child didn’t return home?
Did she call her child?
She went and brought her daughter back to Ilorin and took her to the hospital. That’s how we knew about the matter. The girl was bleeding. We were called in because doctors had seen that she had lost a pregnancy. A child that young!
We had to gently pry out all the answers from her. That’ how we got the whole story.
But it gets even worse for her. The immediate thing was to get the police to arrest the chief. That’s when wahala began.
He was a “pillar of the society,”
Even the police were hesitant. The mother too began to pull back. She said she didn’t want any case with the police because she was a poor woman. We assured her she didn’t have to do anything but ensure her daughter spoke the truth in court…
Somehow, someone had informed the chief. He called for the girl’s mother and gave her money. I don’t know how much. I just know that every time we visited the girl in the hospital, the mother was hostile. She asked us to leave her daughter alone!
After a while, the girl was discharged and when we tried to go meet her at home to discuss how we would get more evidence against the Chief, the girl began to deny the story she had once told us!
The woman said she didn’t want her daughter stigmatised; saying it was a family matter and so we should back off!
The chief had not only sent her money, he sent Alfas to her to preach to her not to follow through with prosecution.
So suppose the VAPP law has been implemented, no matter how much the Chief gave the mother to stall the case or the girl denied what she had initially told us, we would still have carried out our investigation, determine the truth and prosecute the chief.
But you know what’s even worse, the girl simply disappeared. The mother claimed not to know where she is, we couldn’t get anyone to tell us her where about.
Tell me, how does a rape victim of 13 just vanish?
(True stories written by Peju Akande and culled from report by HADIS Foundation)