A civil servant in Osun State, Mr Gbenga Ayenioye, and his friend, a theatre practitioner, Mr. Tunde AmokeOja, have been arrested and detained by the police for allegedly raping a teenage girl (name withheld).
It was gathered that Ayenioye, who was a Financial Accounting teacher at Osogbo Grammar School, invited the girl, said to be one of his students, to a chalet at Latona in Osogbo on Sunday, February 16, 2020.
Ayenioye, a married man, in his early 40s, was alleged to have forced the 16-year-old to bed in one of the rooms at the relaxation centre. After the act, Ayenioye introduced the girl to his friend, AmokeOja, a theatre practitioner on the premise that he would assist her in developing her acting skills to enable her raise funds for her WAEC.
On February 18, 2020, AmokeOja allegedly asked the teenage girl to meet him at Delightful Gold Hotel along Onibueja Road in Osogbo, to feature in a film. The girl was said to have honoured the invitation at the hotel where she was allegedly raped by AmokeOja in one of the hotel rooms when she was asked to go and change her dress.
The two men had threatened their victim not to disclose her ordeal to anyone and advised her to take water with plenty salt after which the girl bled for 15 days following the incident.
During a counselling programme held by a group in the state, Value Female Network (VFN) for young girls on sexual reproductive health and rights, the victim was said to have divulged her ordeal to the NGO officials.
When contacted by our correspondent, the head of NGO gender unit, Moriike Yaagboyaaju, confirmed that the victim informed the NGO that she was raped by the duo.
It was further learnt that the suspects were arrested by the Dugbe Police Station for interrogation upon the victim’s complaints. The matter was later transferred to the Criminal Investigative Department of the police force in Osogbo. The two suspects were detained at the CID in Osogbo, while the Family Unit of the CID is making arrangements to arraign the suspects.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Yemisi Opalola, confirmed that the suspects had been arrested. Opalola said they were in the custody of the CID and that investigation was ongoing.
Meanwhile in Abia State, it is now prescribed by law that a male can also be raped and not only a female as against what it was in its legal definition. This follows the provision in the law recently enacted by the Abia House of Assembly, which the Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has signed.
The law, tagged ‘Abia State Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act,’ prescribed that males can be raped and that unlawful anal or oral sex can be classified as rape and not a sexual assault as legal definitions inferred.
The law covers psychological, socio-economic and physical violence and makes provisions for violence perpetrated by spouses, deprivations by spouses, battery, harmful widowhood practices, female genital mutilation, indecent exposure, incest, abandonment of children, as well as harmful substance attacks like cases where someone pours acid on a fellow human being.
Reacting to the VAPP Act, Mr Chika Ojiegbe, Chief Press Secretary to the governor’s wife, Nkechi Ikpeazu, said the governor’s assent to the bill came after months of painstaking work by the assembly and advocacy by Mrs Ikpeazu.
Former chairman of the state chapter of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Mrs Chidinma Alozie, said the law would provide a more robust legal framework for implementing justice for gender-based issues and rape.
The National Assembly enacted the VAPP Act in 2015 while Lagos, Oyo, Anambra, Enugu, Bauchi, Kaduna, Benue, Cross River, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Ogun, Osun and Plateau had passed the law in their states.