Before July 2012 the families of Israel Jolaosho and Taju Adejumo, of Adefemi Ogundipe Street, Meiran in Ifako Ijaiye Local Government Area of Lagos State, were best of friends.
But the relationship went sour recently after Adejumo, 40, allegedly raped Jolaosho’s 15-year-old daughter, Deborah.
After the rape, Deborah, who was a virgin, missed her period. Subsequent medical examination showed that the 15-year-old pupil of Meiran Community Junior Secondary School was pregnant.
When Punch Metro visited the Jolaoshos on Monday, Deborah was seven-months pregnant and had been forced to drop out of school because of her condition.
Deborah told Punch Metro that on the fateful day, her mother, Rachel, had asked her to go to a construction site and bring back a plastic drum borrowed from her by Adejumo.
She said immediately she got there, Adejumo told her that the drum was kept upstairs and that she should go there and carry it.
Deborah said, “When I got there, he (Adejumo) came to meet me. When I was about to carry the drum, he held me tightly. As I was about shouting, he closed my mouth with clothes and tied me with ropes.
“After doing those things, he had sex with me. Because I have not had sex before, I had bruises and blood covered my private part. After the rape, he still left me tied but he removed the pieces of clothes in my mouth.
“I started crying but could not cry aloud. I asked what I had done to make him behave like that.
“After a long silence, he said I should not tell anybody what happened and that if I did, I would die after seven days. He then untied me after using the pieces of clothes to clean the blood in my private part.
“When I got home, my mother was angry that I overstayed but I could not tell her what happened to me because I was afraid I might die.”
The bubble, however, burst when Deborah started falling ill after the incident and was always vomiting.
She said it was then her mother called her to find out what was amiss.
“My mother started suspecting I was pregnant. She called me and asked, ‘are you pregnant? Who made you pregnant?’ It was then I told her that Adejumo raped me and warned me not to tell anybody, else, I would die.
“My mother took me to some hospitals where they conducted tests and said I was pregnant. By that time, it was four months. The doctors advised that because of my age and weight, it would be suicidal to terminate the foetus.
“My parents reported the matter at Meiran Police Division and Adejumo was arrested. At the station, he promised to take care of me and the pregnancy. But since he had been released from the station, he had abandoned me.”
Rachel, who spoke amid sobs, said Adejumo had endangered the future of her daughter and urged the relevant authorities to bring him to justice.
“If any soothsayer had told me Adejumo would do this to my family, I would not have believed it. As if he has done a noble thing, he had been boasting about that we could not do him anything and that he would show us that we were not his match. I am appealing to the relevant authorities to intervene in this matter and bring him to justice.
“He has wrecked my daughter’s future and people in the neighbourhood have turned her into a laughing stock for something the culprit should be in jail by now.”
When Punch Metro spoke with the suspect on the telephone on Monday, he (Adejumo) said it was the devil’s work.
Adejumo said he had sex with the minor on one occasion, but insisted that he was not responsible for the pregnancy.
He said, “I did not do it intentionally. As I speak to you, I cannot understand what happened to me that day. Since that time, I have remained unstable.
“As for the pregnancy, I do not believe that action led to it. From the scan and tests, we were made to believe she is seven months pregnant but I had sex with her about six months ago.”
The 40-year-old man and father of four said he agreed to take care of Deborah and the pregnancy in order to avoid problem.
When asked by our correspondent if he would like to marry the minor, Adejumo said he was not ready, but added that if the parents of the girl insisted, he could marry her.
The Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos Police Command, Mr. Damasus Ozani, said Meiran Police Station confirmed the story.
Ozani said, “I got across to the station and they confirmed the story that a 40-year-old man confessed to raping one Deborah Jolaosho, a 15-year-old girl.
“The station investigated the matter to the point that when it was time to go to court, the father of the girl, Israel Jolaosho, said he had agreed with Adejumo to take care of the girl and the pregnancy. The decision was not with the police consent.”
Ozani said since then, they had not come to the station to enable the police to take the matter to the court.
“Rape is a case with which the police will not be compromised. It is a serious matter and the police do not joke with it. It is a matter against the state. It is just the attitude of some of our parents, who maybe because of cultural beliefs, illiteracy or otherwise, that treat such matter without the needed seriousness,” he said.