Fainting may not help a father and a village head who was arrested on Thursday for defiling his 15 years old daughter in Owode-Yewa area of Ogun State as the Criminal code which is applicable in the southern part of Nigeria and Penal code which is applicable in the Northern Nigeria both make provisions for the Offence of Rape and defilement.
Section 218 of the Criminal Code recognizes the defilement of girls under the age of thirteen as an offense of felony liable to imprisonment for life. Section 221 of the criminal code provides that the defilement of girls under sixteen and above thirteen as an offense of misdemeanors liable for imprisonment of two years.
The victim walked into the community police station and reported that her father has been having sex with her since when she was eleven years old and has now resulted to Vesicovaginal Fistula, VVF as she now finds it difficult to control her urinary system.
The Child Rights Act adopted by Nigeria in 2003 requires that the well-being of every child must be respected and considered paramount and provides that anyone who has sexual intercourse with a child is liable to imprisonment for life upon conviction.
Under the Child Right Act (CRA) 2003, the age of legal majority for all purposes irrespective of gender has been fixed at eighteen (18) years including the issue of consent to marriage or sexual activity.
The victim who told the police that she has lost her mother when she was barely 2 years old and that the suspect did not allow her to know any relation of her late mother thereby left her with no option other than continuing staying with her father turned perpetrator, who used that opportunity to sexually abuse her from time to time.
In a UNICEF report, violence against children occurs in homes, families, schools, communities, and other places where children should feel safe. A father that was supposed to be the chief protector of the child became the perpetrator of abuse of his own blood and house that was supposed to be a safe haven for the child became home of torture.
Upon the report, the DPO SP Olabisi Elebute quickly led her men to the place where the Baale was promptly arrested. On interrogation, he first denied the allegation, but when he was confronted by the victim and one of his ex-wives who corroborated the victim’s statement, the suspect fainted and was taken to the hospital for resuscitation.
His ex-wife informed the police that she caught him red-handed while having sex with his daughter and that was the reason why she left him. The victim has been taken to a motherless baby home for safety.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, CP Edward A. Ajogun has ordered the transfer of the suspect to anti-human trafficking and child labor unit of the State criminal investigation and intelligence department for an in-depth investigation and diligent prosecution.
Findings in the National Survey carried out by the National Population Commission with the support of UNICEF, and the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention shows the mental, health, and physical impact of violence on children from childhood to adulthood.
Highlights of the National Survey 2014:
- There is a high prevalence of violence against children in Nigeria before the age of 18 years.
- Approximately 6 out of every10 children experience some form of violence.
- Half of all children experience physical violence.
- One in four girls and one in ten boys experience sexual violence.
- One in six girls and one in five boys experience emotional violence by a parent, caregiver, or adult relative.
- Violence starts at a young age.
- For children who experience violence before the age of 18, over half had their first experience between the ages of 6 and 11.
- Approximately 1 in 10 children’s first experience is under the age of 5.
- Of those who experience sexual violence before age of 18, a third of girls and nearly 1 in 6 boys experience their first incident of sexual violence between 14 and 15, while almost a third of boys and approximately 1 in 5 girls experienced their first incident of sexual violence at 13 years and younger.
- Approximately half of the children first experience emotional violence before the age of 12.
- Violence has serious impacts on girls’ and boys’ lives and the future.
- Physical violence is associated with higher rates of mental distress, thoughts of suicide, and symptoms or diagnosis of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) among females and with mental distress, thoughts of suicide, and substance use among males.
- Sexual violence is associated with a higher risk for symptoms or diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections, mental distress, and thoughts of suicide among females and with mental distress among males. 15% of females reported getting pregnant as a result of unwanted completed sex.
- Emotional violence is associated with higher levels of mental distress and thoughts of suicide amongst females and higher levels of mental distress and drinking among males.
As the perpetrator is cooling off in the anti-human trafficking and child labour unit of the State criminal investigation and intelligence department in Ogun State, the emotional and health trauma the victim is going through should be attended to as the world awaits the justice system to do the needful urgently.