Nigeria, February 2017
Zainab (surname withheld) had been travelling from Patigi in Niger State to Eruwa, Oyo State in the past, but if she had an inkling of what would happen to her on February 1, 2017 in the course of the same journey, she would have prayed that the travail would pass over her. Unfortunately, she might have to live with the trauma of the fate that befell her for a very long time to come.
The Fulani lady was allegedly raped by two night guards, Olajide Olakanmi (30) and Olanrewaju Taiwo (29), in a mosque on Eleiyele-Ologuneru Road where she sought refuge.
Speaking with journalists on the arrest of the suspected rapists last week, the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Sam Adegbuyi, said that the victim came to the state from Patigi, Niger State and was on her way to Eruwa town en route Ibadan to see her father.
“Unfortunately for her, she got to Ibadan around 7:00p.m to connect a bus travelling to Eruwa. But at that time, vehicles plying the Eruwa-Ibadan route had retired for the day, and there was no way she could get to Eruwa that night.
“Being from the North, she sought the assistance of a man selling grilled meat (suya) on where she could pass the night. The man then directed her to a mosque nearby, assuring her that she was safe there till the following morning.
However, as the stranded lady approached the Maisuya on her plight, two night guards at a filling station were monitoring her situation. They noticed when the Maisuya directed her to the nearby mosque to sleep,” the police commissioner disclosed.
According to the victim, who spoke through an interpreter at the Oyo State Police Headquarters where her assailants were paraded, she said she had slept off when two men burst into the mosque suddenly around 1.00 a.m.
“Initially, I was not afraid because I saw the mosque as a place of refuge, but I was taken aback when the two men started questioning me.
“Before I knew what was happening, they began to beat me, while searching through my luggage. They were able to take my N32,000, as well as my phone.
“After they were satisfied that I no longer had any valuables in my bags, they took turns to rape me and then after they were done with the act, they pushed me out of the mosque in the early hours of the day,” Zainab said, as she sobbed.
She stated further that she was finally able to find a place to stay till it was dawn, when a sympathiser helped her lodge a complaint at the police station in Ologuneru, Ibadan leading to the arrest of the suspects.
The two suspects confessed to the crime, saying they didn’t know what took over them that night that made them commit the crime.
According to Olakanmi, they were guards at a filling station beside a mosque whew Zainab sought refuge, and around 1a.m, they just decided to move around the area when they saw Zainab sleeping in the mosque.
“That was how the devil took control of our hearts and we did what we did,” Olakanmi said.
The police commissioner said that the suspects would be arraigned in court immediately, while warning travelers who reach a place at odd hours to be careful about their personal safety.