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Tuesday, 26 February 2019

UNILAG STUDENT RECOUNTS HOW SHE WAS GANG RAPED BY EIGHT COLLEAGUES


A 19-year-old student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Miss B (name withheld) yesterday narrated to a Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court sitting in Ikeja how she was allegedly gang-raped by eight fellow students and blackmailed with a video recording of the assault. 
The victim told the court presided over by Justice Sururat Soladoye that her friend and roommate, Peace Nwankaba, lured her to be gang raped. She testified in an ongoing trial of Nwankaba and Moboluwaji Omowole, 19, Chuka Chukwu, 19, James Aguedu, 20, Osemeka Josephine, 20 and others at large.
They were arraigned on a three-count charge of defilement of a child, permitting the defilement of a child on premises and procuration brought against them by the Lagos State government.Led-in-evidence by the state counsel, Mrs. K.A. Momoh-Ayokambi, the witness told the court that she was 17-year-old at the time of the incident. While narrating the events that led to the alleged gang rape, she told the court that she became friends with Nwankaba (the third defendant) who was her roommate when she moved into school hostel for the 2016/2017 academic session.
According to her, “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 on January 13, 2017.
“One day in the early afternoon at about 12noon, Peace called me on the phone and asked if I was around and wanted to hang with another boy called Yinka (now at large) at High Rise, which is a staff quarters hostel at UNILAG. I told her I would think about it. She cut the call and called me again within five minutes but this time it was Yinka who was talking to me. “He told me it was supposed to be a hangout 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. When I got there I only met Yinka with the fourth defendant (James). When I saw Yinka I asked of Peace and he said she is at High Rise.”
She further stated that she was led to a small building behind High Rise where she met Seriki (who is 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, I met two boys and a girl, Emmanuel (who is also at large) and Josephine (the fifth defendant). James and Seriki then entered the room, Josephine and the two boys left and at that 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 that point. Two other persons who were looking into the room entered 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.”
She further told the court that following the alleged gang rape, she was subjected to further sexual assault by the some of defendants and their accomplices. “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 also told court that she did not know how to handle the situation but kept everything that happened to herself. Noting that she was scared of get into a lot of trouble because of the video and that her father will be very angry if he heard what happened. I felt victimized and in bondage.  
The victim recounted that a week after the alleged incident, she was on more than two occasions subjected to more gang rape and sexual assault by the members of the group who now included Simi, Randy, Idowu and Eddy (who are all at large). She noted that some of the assault and defilement occurred at Chukwu’s (second defendant) parents house in Pako area of Yaba, while rumours of the videotape began to make the rounds in school. 
“I started hearing stories and the narrative was as though I wanted it. Henry a friend of Peace, saw the video and unknown to me, reported to the school authorities. So, on March 1, 2017, he told me to follow him to bank to withdraw money but actually took me to see the school counselor. The school counselor beckoned to me, I saw my bio-data in her hands. 
“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 would be caught. I was admitted at the Unilag Medical Center for three days where the parents of arrested students tried soliciting me not to do anything about the case,” she said.After listening to her testimony, the judge adjourned cross-examination by the defense counsel to March 18.

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