A teenager (names withheld) on Tuesday narrated before an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, how she was allegedly kidnapped and raped by a traditional healer who was to treat her father.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 17-year-old testified as the first prosecution witness at the trial of one Prince Tom for defilement and kidnapping.
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The teenager, who was led in evidence by the state prosecutor, Mr Peter Owolabani, said she was a 15-year-old senior secondary student when Tom came to her house on December 10, 2019, with a member of her family’s church.
The witness said the defendant requested for N25,000 as part of a fee to heal her father of stroke.
She said her mother told her to follow Tom to a Point of Sale (POS) to withdraw the sum.
She said they went to some POS to make withdrawals but were unsuccessful because the operators had insufficient fund.
The teenager said in their search for another POS, she and the defendant took a commercial motorcycle from her neighbourhood in Bariga to Ilupeju, both in Lagos State.
“When we got to Ilupeju, my mother called him on the phone and I heard him telling her: ‘She is my sister, I cannot do anything to her ma’.
Tricked into a hotel
“He approached a commercial tricycle park and informed the drivers that were siblings who just came to Lagos from a village, and asked for a hotel around the area.
“I had exhausted my transport fare, I am always staying at home, my parents do not allow me to go out; so, upon hearing him asking for a hotel, I told him I wanted to go back home.
“He said that he was seeing something in the spiritual realm that if went go back home, my father would die,” she said.
The witness said that they went to a hotel (Osmak Hotel Mushin) and the defendant paid for a room but she refused to follow him into the hotel room.
According to her, the defendant persuaded her to follow him so that they could pray for her father’s healing.
“In the room, he was praying in God’s name and he brought out a black oil and said: ‘In the next five minutes, your father is going to get up from his sick bed and walk’.
“After five minutes, he said it had been done and we should enjoy ourselves but I insisted that we should go home.”
He asked if I was stupid and told me to lie on the bed.
“I refused, and the next thing I felt was a gun pointed at my head. I started shouting and he held my neck, removed my trousers and forcefully had sex with me.
“I went to the bathroom afterwards and was crying; he said I should not tell my mother what happened and asked if I had eaten. I said I had not eaten since 4pm, and the time was 8pm,” she told the court.
The witness said they went downstairs and the hotel manager noticed bloodstains on her clothes and wanted to speak to her but the defendant refused and sent her back to the room.
She said the defendant came back to the hotel room, fell asleep and left the room key on the bed.
How he was arrested
According to her, she could not sleep.
“I took the key, opened the door, went outside and locked him inside. I went to the receptionist, she gave me her phone and I called my mother but it was our pastor who answered.
“I explained everything that happened and gave him the address. I saw the hotel manager and explained what happened and he told me that he noticed the bloodstains and wanted to speak with me.
“The manager told the staff not to let the defendant out of the hotel room and they called the police who came to pick him up. This was about 2am in the morning,” she testified.
While being cross-examined by defence counsel, Mr Kelechi Obi, the teenager said though she lived in Lagos, she never went out.
She said Tom met her family for the first time that day and her mother was not aware that she was taken to a hotel by the defendant.
She said her mother trusted him to run the errand with her daughter because he came with a church member.
She said during the period she was abducted, her mother sent N10,000 in two tranches of N5,000 to Tom to hire a taxi for her to return home but he used the funds to buy food and pay for the hotel room.
The teenager’s mother (name withheld) in her testimony, said she became afraid five minutes after the defendant left with her daughter.
“I came to my senses and I ran to the bus stop to search for them. I called him on the phone and he told me that my daughter was at Ketu and I should pay N100,000 for her release.
“I called my pastor and I told him to tell the church member who brought him to produce my daughter. The defendant was ‘flashing’ me and when I called back, he would be demanding N100,000 for her release.
“He later said I should pay N5,000 for him to put my daughter in a taxi and I did so twice. I went to the Bariga Police Station to make a statement,” she testified.
The woman told the court that at 2am the following day, her pastor called and told her that he had heard from her daughter that she was at Mushin.
“We went to the Mushin Police Station. When I saw her, I noticed blood all over her body and cried because she had never known a man. This man had sex with her,” the woman said.
Mr Elijah Udoh, pastor to the family, testified as the third prosecution witness, corroborating the claims of the teenager and her mother.
Justice Abiola Soladoye adjourned the case until July 21 for continuation of trial.