This is important in documenting abuse patterns on women and children in Nigeria.
Like today’s sad sexual assault case on child rape — only that this time, justice got served.
But what happened?
The ‘Bread and Beans’ rape case
Our story started on August 16, 2017.
The offender, a 40-year-old man named Kehinde Gabriel, ambushed a 3-year-old girl [whose name has been retracted] in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State.
Gabriel, the victim’s neighbour, lured her to his apartment with an offer of bread, beans and a drink before raping her. According to her mother, the girl came home crying, adding that blood was found in her private parts.
She said, “She went to the mosque with her other sisters that day. After some minutes of crying, she returned home with a bottle of drink and bread.
“I asked her what was wrong, and she said Uncle Kehinde (Gabriel) had given the items to her. She was running a temperature. While her father and I checked her body, we saw blood in her private parts.”
Gabriel’s response to this was one of denial. He said he had only interacted with the little girl because she “was crying from hunger.”
He was arrested and later taken to the Ikeja Magistrate Court on August 28, 2017, for trial. According to Police Prosecutor Inspector Simeon Imhonwa, the accused had broken Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
What does this Law say?
According to the Criminal Law of Lagos State, “any person who has sexual intercourse with a child (under 18 years) commits a felony and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for life.”
How bad is child rape in Nigeria?
Very bad — and also very disturbing. According to the “Violence Against Children Survey”, a 2014 National Population Commission report, one in four young girls experience sexual violence.
Sadly, many sex assault cases tend to remain in court without resolution. In March 2022, the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Pauline Tallen, reported 646 cases of sexual violence, with 327 offenders convicted and 327 cases still in court.
HumAngle also reported in 2022 that only 10 out of 36 states in Nigeria keep sex offender registers. The sex offender register is a database of all convicted sex offenders in a state, with the offender’s address, physical appearance, and criminal history.
These cases are not frequently updated. If a sex offender was released from jail, he could commit sexual crimes without getting caught.
Luckily, justice got served in this case
Six years after the incident, the Lagos Sexual and Domestic Violence Court sentenced Kehinde Gabriel to life imprisonment.
Justice Ramon A. Oshodi presided over this court and found him guilty of the one-count charge of defilement. He described him as “a person of no truth who has no remorse for what he did”.
How to support child rape victims
Even though the little girl avenged her rape legally, many rape victims are not lucky and still need your support.
To support victims of child rape, please contact the Lagos Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency at 08000333333. You can email them – email@example.com.
You can visit the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) for national complaints. View their website to find the branch closest to you, or call +234 708 849 6115