Three young men have been arrested in the Osun State Capital, for repeatedly gang-raping, molesting and intimidating a minor.
One of the suspects identified as Usman Abiodun Alowonle had stopped the 14year old victim, who was on her way to a tailoring shop in the neighbourhood where she was acquiring a skill in fashion designing.
Usman who had earlier professed love to the teen girl, but was disappointed when she turned him down, approached her again on February 12, 2023, and this time, lured her to join him for a drink in a hotel named Adcon Hotel nearby her neighbourhood in olorunsogo zone B,along Ilesha express road, Osogbo, Osun State.
The Victim had insisted on not following Usman because there were lots of people smoking at the hotel, but Usman assured her of safety and that they would stay at the back of the hotel to have a drink.
Upon entering the hotel, Usman lured the 14-year-old girl into one of the rooms and forcefully raped her while threatening to kill her if she screams or draws any form of attention.
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Immediately after the damaging act, six more guys identified as Usman’s friends entered the room and started laughing scornfully at her while fondling their phones.
At that point, one of the guys told the victim that they have her nude pictures and rape video and threatened to release the video if she didn’t allow them to have their turn. Five more of Usman’s friends took turns to rape the 14-year-old victim while the 6th guy recorded the video the same day as she was held down and her mouth sealed.
Ever since that day, the same set of guys have relentlessly waylaid and gang-raped the 14-year-old four consecutive times on different occasions and recorded her video each time, constantly threatening her with a knife and promising to leak a nude video of her, which they claimed to have in their possession.
The Victim further explained that she was too scared to narrate her ordeal or report the harassment to her Grandma with whom she lived or anyone else, as she was forewarned by her oppressors to keep mum or die.
Events soon turned around on the 29th of march as someone in whom the victim confided contacted a women’s rights NGO called Value Female Network via her 24/7 Toll-Free Rescue line and reported the case to the VFN team who promptly paid a visit to the victim at home to confirm her identity, and safety and assure her of their quick intervention. VFN Team immediately liaised with human right activist and decided to report the incident to the Department of State Security Service in Osogbo, Osun State.
However in the evening, the VFN Team received a text message from the 14-year-old girl highly suggestive of her plans to commit suicide. “Sis, just say bye to me cus am just so tired of this world. Bye sis, I will miss you so much, bye”. The text message read.
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Reacting, the VFN Team immediately went to her community and was lucky to find her alive and alone in the mosque where she had attempted suicide by cutting her right arm skin multiple times with a blade, She was immediately extracted from her community, provided with first aid and taken to the Department of State Security Service where she was greatly counselled and reassured of the nailing of the perpetrators.
That same night at about 8:15 pm, the officers led the Value Female Network team alongside the survivour to the environment where the perpetrators live for mapping, that way she was able to spot one of the guys, whose house was mapped by the Department of State Services (DSS), for further operations.
She was subsequently taken to Value Female Network Safe Home in Osogbo, Osun State, a private safe home that provides temporary shelter and support for women and girls fleeing from gender-based violence, and has been living in there till date.
Also, on Friday, 31st March 2023, the DSS arrested and detained three of the perpetrators. Before their arrest, one of the seven guys had reportedly died mysteriously, while 3 others are on the run.
The investigating team also found that aside from the recorded videos on their phones, the perpetrators are also into internet fraud.
On the 4th of April, 2023, three of the perpetrators named: Usman Abiodun Alowonle, Malik Tunde kazeem and Sadiq Ademola Bello were arraigned in magistrate court Osogbo.
After the magistrate, Justice Olusegun Ayilara heard from the defendants, he denied their bail application and remanded the perpetrators at the Nigerian Correctional Center in Ilesa till the next court hearing scheduled for 5th June 2023.
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Speaking with the press, the Executive Director of Value Female Network- Dr Costly Aderibigbe-Saba, the Gender Officer- Ms Zainab Agbolade and Human Rights Activist Citizen Lola Wey, have reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring that the survivor, who is presently receiving routine medical care and psychological support from the state hospital, will get justice and that she would be able to fulfil her dream.