By Usman A. Bello
BENIN – The story of the 12-year-old girl who was serially abused sexually from age 8 by a pastor, native doctor and her neighbour is as pathetic as it’s heart-rending.
Last month, Agatha (not real name) was delivered of a premature baby girl through caesarean section at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, after being impregnated by 30-year-old Ambrose Okohere.
A doctor at the hospital told Daily TrustSaturday that the girl was brought in almost dead at 32 weeks of pregnancy, with many health complications.
He said they had to carry out a cesarean operation on her to save her life and that of the baby.
According to him, the girl’s younger brother collapsed at the hospital when he came to visit her and was later diagnosed to be a sickle cell patient.
Our reporter, who visited the maternal child health ward, observed two nurses with the patient, assisting her in feeding.
But the reporter was not allowed to speak with her as she was said to be in the protective custody of the hospital and it was against the ethics of the hospital.
Daily Trust Saturday gathered that her journey to sexual abuse, suffering and pains started when she lost her father at the age of 5 and was taken to stay with a pastor. Sadly, she was raped by the pastor, who was supposed to be her guardian, and thereafter, turned to his sex slave.
After the sad experience with the pastor, she was taken to a ‘traditional healer’ by her mother but was also raped on several occasions.
Our reporter gathered that she later went to stay with her aunt, so that she could go back to school, but was again raped and impregnated by a neighbour.
A relation of the victim, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the girl was first defiled by an Assemblies of God Church pastor when she was eight years old.
“When the trauma was too much for her, she reported the matter to her mother who accused her of lying against the pastor. Her mother did not believe her and told her aunt, who instead dug into the matter to ascertain the truth.
“The development led to an investigation and medical examination of the girl which revealed that the pastor did not only rape her but had turned her into a sex slave.
“Afterwards, her mother took her to a native doctor for treatment and care, but as the pastor, the native doctor took the advantage and also raped her repeatedly.”
Daily Trust Saturday gathered that as soon as her mother discovered that in 2017, she took the girl to her aunt at Uromi before she died about a year ago.
While staying with her aunt, a security guard identified as Ambrose, who lives in the same compound with them, raped and impregnated her.
The source said the aunt discovered that she was four months pregnant after a pregnancy test was conducted; following her constant complaint of stomach pain.
She confided in her aunt that Ambrose was responsible for the pregnancy.
A neighbour thereafter informed the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) about the girl’s ordeal, which led to the arrest of the three suspects.
The matter was said to be later settled out-of-court after the three men agreed to pay N5,000 monthly for their upkeep.
Speaking with Daily Trust Saturday, the Chief Medical Director of Irrua Specialist Hospital said “We are bearing the hospital cost through indigent patient’s fund. The fund also takes care of both the caesarean and the baby’s care like feeding and clothing. Some NGOs have also made some contributions toward their care.”
“While we are taking care of the treatment, she needs to be properly catered for and that is where philanthropists and well-meaning individuals can come in.”
He said the hospital approved N300,000 from the indigent fund for the treatment and will also approve more if the need arises.
“The baby is still in the incubator and doing well while the mother is also responding to treatment.
“The young girl also has a medical condition – one of the serious obstetric complications, but the obstetrics, psychology and pediatric teams are all working together to ensure that she is properly taken care of.
“The issue now is after discharge from the hospital, she needs care and education, and her child needs to be well taken care of. And I think she has three or four other siblings who need to be well taken care of. One of her siblings is also not feeling fine and has been admitted in our hospital under the indigent patient’s fund.”
He called on Nigerians to come to the aid of the girl to ensure that she does not suffer.
Meanwhile, when our reporter visited the Uromi Divisional Police headquarters, an officer said the case has been transferred to the State Command headquarters.
The spokesperson of the Edo State Police Command, Chidi Nwabuzor, said the suspects are undergoing interrogation, adding that the investigation is still ongoing. (Daily Trust)