Saturday, 6 February 2016

Every day has turned nightmarish for 15-year-old
Semisola Olona (not real names) who seems not to
get over the traumatic experience she had when
she was allegedly raped by a commercial tricycle
rider, known as Mr. Lati Ajoje.
Olona, a senior secondary one student in a Lagos
school, said Ajoje was her mother’s customer and
she knew him before the incident. Olona’s mother
runs a canteen in Iyana Ipaja, Lagos.
She told our correspondent recently that she never
believed Ajoje would rape her because he was a
frequent customer at her mother’s shop.
In tears, Olona, who claimed she was a virgin
before the incident, narrated how Ajoje took
advantage of her.
She said she was on her way to her mother’s shop
on January 15, 2016, when she met Ajoje who
offered to drop her off at the canteen.
“I didn’t suspect anything. I even thanked him as I
boarded his keke (tricycle). When we got to the
bus stop, he turned and faced another route. I
asked him if he wasn’t going to my mum’s shop
again. He didn’t answer me. I told him to stop me
at the bus stop but he refused.
“He then told me to be patient and said he only
wanted to go and collect something at Water
Estate. I insisted I wanted to drop off. He didn’t
listen to me, he ignored me. He got to where he
was going and he stopped at an uncompleted
building and told me to get down. I asked him why,
he said he wanted to tell me something. I told him I
didn’t like the place he brought me and I was
already feeling uncomfortable. He just carried me
forcibly and entered the building. I was struggling. I
even had to bite him but he didn’t bulge. He carried
me into a room in the uncompleted building.
“He removed my clothes. I told him I would rather
he killed me than do anything to me. But he said he
wasn’t going to kill me but he would still have sex
with me. That was how he forced himself on me
and raped me,” she said.
Olona said Ajoje threatened to kill her if she ever
told anybody about the incident.
“After raping me, he used one rag to clean me up.
After he finished, he gave me N200. But I told him I
wasn’t going to take his money. I was afraid to tell
anybody because he had said he would kill me. But
eventually, I had to tell my sister who told my
mother. I have not seen him again since then. He
no longer comes to my mother’s shop,” she said.
The President of Touch a Heart Foundation,
Lawrence Bassey, who is currently handling the
case, said the organisation felt obliged to take over
the case when Olona’s mother reported the
incident to it.
“The victim’s mother said her child was raped and
presented a police report. We have taken her to the
Mirabel Sexual Assault Referral Centre. After some
tests, one of the doctors told the girl’s mother that
she was actually raped and she has been given
some treatment,” he said.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that the case was also
reported at the Gowon Estate Police Division.
The investigating police officer in charge of the
case has said that the police are still looking for a
way to arrest the rape suspect.
But Bassey said the suspect has been seen on the
road operating his tricycle numerous times without
attempts by the police to arrest him.
“The police have just refused to do their job and
make the arrest. He is well known in the area.
“Few days ago, the IPO told us he can’t go around
looking for a rapist. He said we should go and look
for the suspect ourselves. We have started the
investigation on our own since the police said we
should handle it ourselves.
“The suspect has yet to be found. We met with the
chairman of the Keke operators in the area where
Ajoje operates and he promised to get back to us.
They took us to his mother, who also said that
Ajoje is on the run and nobody has seen him. We
have informed the National Agency for the
Prohibition of Trafficking in Person, Office of the
Public Defender and the Public Advice Centre
about this matter,” he said.
When our correspondent contacted the Divisional
Police Officer of the station, Mr. Festus Otabor, a
chief superintendent of police, he explained that the
complainant had the right to ask for him, if the IPO
refused to act on the case.
“On a case of such magnitude, they should have
made attempt to see me. I cannot hear of such
case and just let it go. I am happy that you are
informing me about the issue. They need to come
back and talk to me. It is a serious issue,” he said.

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