Why 14-yr-old girl ‘gang-raped’ shuns palliative intervention
Some details have emerged of a 14-year-old girl in the Adamawa State capital, Yola, who was camped in a room by three men who all slept with her over one night.
The girl, identified simply as Rabi, a resident of a community in Yola called Sangere, had paid a visit to another part of the city named Rumde, where he complained of a need of money to a man who told her he would ‘do something about it’.
The man later materialized with two other men who together took her to a house where they all had her in the course of the night, according to an activist, Hauwa Garba, who narrated the story to newsmen.
Hauwa who took the matter upon the auspices of an NGO, Equal Access Nigeria, said she was alerted to the case by some youths. “I went out to identify the girl and to rescue her,” she said, adding that although a medical test conducted on the girl indicated no infection, she was experiencing pain as a result of the gang sex and had to be given some drugs.
In a further interview with our correspondent on Wednesday, Hauwa said although the ‘gang-rape’ was done behind closed doors, the matter came into the open after the girl complained of it to her brother, probably because of the pain she felt.
She expressed regret, however, that prosecution of the case was proving difficult because the girl’s family objected to police involvement and the girl herself was averse to anything that would prolong the matter.
“After investigation, I came to realize that she was not raped in the strict sense of force. I discovered that she is in juvenile prostitution. She agreed to sleep with those three men for the N2,000 which she needed. And after letting me take her to hospital for the test that was carried out on her, she has been avoiding me. She is afraid that I want to stop her from prostitution,” she said.
She reiterated that it was a bad case, explaining, “She indeed agreed to the men sleeping with her for the N2,000. She had her agent among the three men. Its the agent who called the other two men. The agent had been connecting her with men periodically for money. I am pained, still, because she took herself to a man because she needed money, but she ended up being used by three men, just for N2,000.”
Hauwa Garba is treating the case through sensitization, “by enlightening the people and making them realize that if they don’t treat this case with concern and discourage it, it could happen to someone in their own household, their daughters could become a victim.”
She identified ignorance as a factor in the case. She said, “The fact of the girl being a minor is not sufficiently recognized by the three perpetrators and even the girl herself. I fear that if she continues in her acts, it’s dangerous. She is just 14. What will happen if she continues till she is 20? Will she be able to ever get out of it? So, I want to see how I can rehabilitate her and to enlighten other girls on the dangers of prostitution that they take as a life style.”
An Adamawa State Senior Counsel and member of the Federation of Women Lawyers, Barr Lubman Muhammad, who spoke on the matter, said Rabi being less than 18 years of age made what happened to her a gang-rape.
“It was rape, in the first place because her consent was unduly obtained. She consented because she needed the money,” the lawyer said, and quoting Section 260, Subsection 1(e) of the reversed Penal Code Law of Adamawa State 2018, Bar Lubna said the girl was under 18 years and the men were wrong to have slept with her whether she consented or not.