Two Muslim students of the Lagos State University (LASU) narrated before an Ikeja Special Offences Court how they were allegedly robbed and raped at gunpoint by a fellow student.
According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the students were both wearing niqabs (Islamic garment which covers the body leaving the eyes uncovered), in lengthy testimonies revealed to the court that they lost their virginities in the attack.
The claims were made while testifying as prosecuting witnesses during the trial of a fellow student of LASU, named Afeez Ogunbowale, over allegation of armed robbery and rape.
Mrs O.A Bajulaiye-Bishi, the prosecuting counsel, of the students, who were roommates, told the court that they were 200 level students when the alleged rape and armed robbery occurred.
The witnesses told the court that a torch was flashed into their apartment, waking them suddenly, and five men, including Ogunbowale, who were armed with guns and machetes, forced themselves into their apartment.
One of the victims, who would not be named, 23, told the court “they took three phones, a gold chain, earpiece, power bank and N1, 200. Three of the men left, leaving the defendant and one other person who I cannot identify.
“The defendant told the other guy “I want to sleep with these girls. The defendant went to the toilet with my roommate while the second man tried to rape me.
“The second man could not penetrate me because I had an asthmatic attack and the second man left me to swap places with the defendant.
“The defendant came and had sex with me while I had the asthmatic attack and my roommate was screaming and pleading for him to leave me alone and he said in pidgin English “if she wan die, make she die”.
“The other three men came back into the apartment and saw the chaos, they told the two other men that this was not what they came here to do and they assisted in looking for my inhaler when my inhaler was found, they all left my apartment.”
She also told the court that they lodged a report at the Ojo Barracks and they were referred to the Mirabel Center for medical examination and counselling.
“The case was transferred to the Festac police station then to the Ikeja Police Station. When the defendant was apprehended and brought to the Ikeja Police Station, he was shocked when he saw us there.
“He went on his knees and said to us in Yoruba “Alhaja please,” she said.
While being cross-examined by Mr Bisi Salau, the defence counsel, the victim told the court that she recognised Ogunbowale as her assaulter because she had seen him a number of times on campus.
She noted that the residence where the alleged crime occurred belonged to her aunt.
“I was a virgin until the day that incident occurred. I cannot remember the exact date I went to the Mirabel Center. When I reported the incident at the Ojo Barracks, they called to inform the Vice-Chancellor of LASU about it.
“The five men who came to our apartment were armed with a gun and the defendant was the one who carried the gun which he touched me with.
“The defendant has a group of friends in my class and his friend sent me a friendship request on Facebook.
“When I looked through his friend’s list, I saw the defendant’s photograph which I gave to the campus Department of State Security (DSS) official.
“I saw the defendant on campus and alerted campus security. He was apprehended,” she said.
The other victim, who would not be named also, 20 years of age, while giving her testimony narrated how Ogunbowale allegedly raped her.
“The defendant took me to the toilet and pointed a gun at my head, that day I was still a virgin and it was difficult for him to penetrate into me. He said to me “you never do am before”.
“He took me to a chair and raped me and the second man left my roommate and exchanged places with him and raped me as well.
“After we had reported the incident to authorities, we were examined and counselled. We had to go there over a long period of time but we had to cut that short because of our exams.
“We could not even take some of our medication because of our school examination,” she said.
NAN reports that earlier, Ogunbowale plead not guilty during his arraignment for five-counts of armed robbery and rape.
According to Bajulaiye-Bishi, the defendant committed the offence alongside others who are now at large in the Okokomaiko area of Lagos.
“The defendant and his accomplices while armed with a gun, knife, machete and bottle robbed the students of their phones, power bank, earpiece, gold chain and N1,200.
“The defendant and his accomplice, who is at large, had unlawful sexual intercourse with the complainants.
“The offence contravenes Sections 260(1) and 297(2)(a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015,” she said.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo ordered that Ogunbowale continue to enjoy the bail that was granted to him by Justice Yetunde Adesanya before the case was transferred from Adesanya’s court to her court.
The Justice also warned the defendant that neither he nor his friends should threaten any of the witnesses, otherwise his bail will be revoked.
“The defence counsel, Mr Bisi Salau, who is from the chambers of Mr Lanre Ogunlesi, a reputable Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has undertaken to drop his qualifying certificate to ensure the defendant reports to the court,” she said.
The case was adjourned till Nov. 25 for further hearing