The Lagos State Police Command has arraigned a 52-year-old school teacher, Isaac Ikiabeke, for allegedly raping a five-year-old pupil in the Ikorodu area of the state.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Ikiabeke, who is also the proprietor of the school, Brighter Glory School, located on Etunrere Street, raped his victim after school hours.
The victim, five-year-old Pat (pseudonym), told our correspondent the father of three had allegedly raped her 10 times.
She said, “He has been doing it for some time. He has done it more than 10 times. I am not the only one. He does it with some of us after school hours. I could not tell anybody because he said if I did he would beat me.”
The victim’s grandfather explained to our correspondent that his attention was drawn to the sexual assault by some of Pat’s classmates.He said he was shocked, as well as disappointed in Ikiabeke, whom he regarded as a respectable person.
He said, “Pat and her younger sister stay with me and they attend the school. I never suspected anything initially, except that I observed she would be holding her belly and turning on the bed and when I asked her what happened, she would say she was having stomachache.
“It was one of her classmates that told me what the school owner had been doing to her and I quickly went to report at the station, after which he was arrested.”
Our correspondent was also told that the matter was brought to the attention of the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender.
A police source told PUNCH Metro that the police got complaints from two victims.
He said a three-year-old pupil, who was equally raped by the suspect, was in a critical condition in a hospital.
He said, “There were actually two pupils that we were told he raped. The atrocity had been going on for a long time before he was arrested.”
Our correspondent was told that Pat had also been taken to the hospital for treatment.
The police on Monday arraigned Ikiabeke before a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court on one count of unlawful sexual intercourse.
The charge read, “That you, Isaac Ikiabeke, on June 9, 2015, at about 3pm, at Brighter Glory School, Etunrere Street, Ikorodu, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did have unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, (name withheld) aged five years and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 258 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge and elected summary trial.
He was represented by two counsel – Marcus Imoudu and Kola Afolayan.
Also in court were A.O. Komolafe and B.N. Ameh of the OPD, who held brief for the complainant.
Imoudu prayed the court to admit the defendant to bail in liberal terms.
But the police prosecutor, Cyril Ejiofor, of the State Department of Criminal Investigation, objected to the bail application.
He said, “While I agree that bail is at the discretion of the court, I oppose the bail application of the defence counsel. He has not given any cogent reason to the court for which the defendant should be granted bail.
“The charge before the court is punishable by life imprisonment. And although we don’t want to go into proof of evidence, I want the court to take cognisance of the fact that two minors are involved in the substantive charge.
“This is a vice that is affecting society. I want the court to look at the interest of the state in granting bail to the defendant.”
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. A.O. Soladoye, in her ruling, said the offence was bailable.
She thereafter admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N1m with two sureties in like sum.
“One of the sureties must be a school proprietor or proprietress, while the second surety must be a serving civil servant of Grade Level 17,” she added.
The case was adjourned till August 10, 2015.