By Moji Eniola/Lagos
An 18-year-old teenager on Wednesday narrated to an Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court how her father used blackmail to have unlawful sexual intercourse with her since she was 12-years-old.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that her father, 52-year-old Folorunso Oluwaseun was arraigned on Feb. 8 on a two-count charge of defilement and sexual assault.
The teenager, the first prosecution witness, told the court that the sexual abuse spanned four years (2012 to 2016) before she was removed from Oluwaseun’s care by her mother.
She revealed that Oluwaseun blackmailed her by refusing to give her and her younger siblings aged five and two years food unless she gave in to his incestuous demands.
While being led in evidence by Mr Babajide Boye, the State Prosecutor, she said: “When the abuse occurred, I was living with my father and four siblings at Ofin in Ikorodu and my mother was staying in Ibadan.
“When it happened, I told my immediate younger sister and she said it is a curse in the Bible, I told my father and he told me it is not a curse that God knows he doesn’t have a wife and God won’t count it as sin.
“I allowed him to continue but my sister said it was not good and I told him I can’t allow him continue and told me that he would not give us food unless I allowed him to continue.
“He refused to give us food and my young brothers aged five and two were very hungry so my sister said I should allow him to continue so he will give us food since he said it is not a sin and I allowed him continue.
“I decided to tell his sister, Mummy Tosin and she promised to talk to him.
“He approached me asking why I told his sister after he has told me it isn’t a sin and that it is only if he has sexual intercourse with me that he will have money to take care of us,” she said.
The teenager, in her evidence gave an insight into how her family handled her allegations of incest against her father.
“In 2013, my mother came back home but left after about a month.
“He stopped when she was around and started again when she left, I didn’t tell my mother because my father said I should not tell her.
“We usually go to the camp of the Apostolic Church every year and my father told me that his sister reported him to his mother and his mother told him not to get me pregnant.
“I told my sister and, she said our father’s family doesn’t like us at all.
“Around August 2016, my mother came back home and one night he searched for me wanting to sleep with me again.
“When my mother caught him, she started shouting but he shouted back at her saying what can she do to him.
“My mother took all of us to Ibadan saying if she stayed after knowing about the acts my dad can kill her,” she said.
The teenager said that her father’s blackmail continued when the family moved to Ibadan.
“I was teaching in a small school in Ibadan and we used to call him to send us money but he will say until we come back to Ikorodu.
“I didn’t want to go back so I went to the proprietress of the school asking for salary increment and I told her everything I went through in the hands of my father,” she said.
The witness said through the influence of the school proprietress, she was able to report her father to the appropriate authorities leading to his arrest.
The teenager’s mother (name withheld), while giving evidence as the second prosecution witness said she separated from Oluwaseun after he accused her of witchcraft.
“I moved to Ibadan where I began selling raw food stuff and sending gifts to my sister to give my children occasionally because their father refused me direct access to them.
“I was unaware of everything that happened to my daughter as she never confided in me until I caught her father in the act.
“I left with my children after he refused to accept responsibility or show any form of repentance for his actions.
“I feared he will kill me in a bid to cover up the secret,” the mother said.
According to the prosecution, the offences contravene sections 137 and 263 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
Justice Sybil Nwaka adjourned the case until June 21 for continuation of trial.