For the purpose of this report, let us call her Miss M. She is just 13-years-old and has the lofty ambition of being a medical doctor in the future.
Her parents are low-income earners with the father, a commercial bus driver while the mother is a petty trader who does their utmost to provide for their seven children despite their meagre incomes.
This serves as an inspiration for Miss M to channel her energies towards ensuring that she performs brilliantly at school with the hopes of lifting her family out of penury in the future but this dream is being threatened by a very gory incident that will leave her scarred for life.
In her rundown neighbourhood of Akute, a suburb of Ogun State, something happened that can shatter Miss M’s dreams for life.
About two weeks ago, Miss M was on her way to a medical centre where she learns the basics of nursing after school, in the quest to achieve her lifelong dream of being a medical practitioner, when she was accosted by four boys who blew a powdery substance into her eyes.
The substance made her lost consciousness instantly.
Several hours later, she regained consciousness, only to find herself covered in blood oozing from her private parts in the midst of the boys who had gang-raped her inside an uncompleted building.
As she struggled to get herself together, the hoodlums threatened to kill her if she dared to tell anyone what they did to her.
Fortunately, Miss M was able to escape by scaling one of the windows despite her very weak state with the ringleader later identified as Sheriff, chasing her before eventually giving up.
When she managed to get home, her distraught parents took her to the police station to lodge a complaint which led to the arrest of two of the culprits.
However, they were released immediately due to a connivance between the parents of the boys and the police, according to Miss M’s parents.
The gender department of the police also treated Miss M and her parents in a very appalling manner, lending credence to the fact that money must have changed hands.
They did not care that the teenager had been defiled and the suspects were let off as if a crime had not been committed.
The medical centre recommended by the police only took her blood sample and sent her home without any further diagnosis or drugs to alleviate her pains, before sending her away.
The drugs she used were eventually purchased at a local pharmacy with the help of kind neighbours who were moved by the financial plight of her parents.
Meanwhile, after their release from police custody, the perpetrators took to their heels which led to the arrest of the mother of one of the rapists called Lateef, and another woman who conspired to hide Lateef.
The seriousness of the case caught the attention of Betty Abah, the Founder of the Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE) located in Ogba, Lagos State who specializes in advocating for disadvantaged girls whilst ensuring their rights are enforced.
Abah took up M’s case and petitioned the Ajuwon Police Station on why the prosecution process was handled shoddily by the officers in charge of the case.
She called it “a rape of justice” and pledged to see the case to the logical conclusion.
Meanwhile, the mothers of the perpetrators were arrested in lieu of the boys who already absconded and still yet to be found.
The clock is ticking to the next court hearing but the question remains, why did the police release the boys in the first place?