Emotion ran high, Wednesday, at the Oduduwa office of the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ikeja, following a startling revelation by a seven-year-old girl of how her father had been having carnal knowledge of her since she was six.
Aside this, her 49-year-old father, Sylvester Ehijire, who was paraded before newsmen, was also alleged to have had carnal knowledge of his one-year, three month-old grand daughter, in their one-room apartment, 13, Kolawole Street, Ejigbo.
The seven-year-old girl (names withheld) told a bewildered crowd that her father usually committed the sacrilege whenever her mother was away.
According to the primary three pupil, “every time my mother was not at home, my father will call me, dip his finger into my anus and his manhood inside my virgina. He would then promise to buy me biscuit and toy cars if I did not tell anybody. There is no Sunday that he did not do it.”
He threatened to blind me if I tell my mother
Asked why she did not tell her mother, she replied: “Anytime I wanted to tell my mother, he would hold my mouth and remind me of the things he promised me. But I would challenge him that he had never bought any of the things for me. At times when he finished and I threatened to tell my mother, he would tell me he would pluck out my eyes if I told anyone.
“Sometimes, he would even beat me whenever I attempted to open my mouth and also beat my mother with cane.”
Her 45-year-old mother, Mrs Ehijire, who hails from Iseleuku, Delta State, corroborated her daughter’s claim, disclosing that the abominable act became known in 2006 when her first child, (now married) informed her that her father had been having carnal knowledge of her.
“I travelled to Abuja for a catering job because I am a caterer. At about 1 a.m that fateful day, my daughter called me to say she had just been raped by her father. Then, she was 17 years old. I had to leave the job and travel back to Lagos the next day. I informed my husband’s parents but all of a sudden my in-laws turned against me, saying I was lying.
“This continued until I could no longer bear it. I had to leave the house with my children in 2007. But I came back in 2011, after entreaties by my in-laws.
“Since then, I did not know he was still doing it until my seven-year-old daughter told me, saying he even threatened to blind her if she opened up to anyone.
“When I confronted him, he started beating me. I went to his family members at Okota to report again but they did not do anything.
“The height of the abominable act happened last Wednesday after when I returned home to meet my one-year three-month-old grand-daughter crying.
“In a bid to pacify the baby, I took her to the backyard for a bath only to discover that her pampers were stained with blood and semen.
“At that point, I screamed and alerted my co- tenants. That was the last straw. I quickly rushed to the Ejigbo police station to report the case.”
Asked why she did not make an effort to protect her female children against such abuse, she explained that after reconciling with her husband in 2007, she usually left her daughter and grand-daughter in a creche until her return at about 6 p.m.
She said: “I gave a clear instruction to the proprietress never to allow anyone pick the children but me. But last Wednesday, I was told my husband went there and requested to pick them. Even when they resisted, he picked quarrel with them, asking if he had no right to pick his children.
“When I asked my seven-year-old daughter what happened thereafter, she told me that on reaching home, the father sent her and her elder brother who is nine to go and buy bread. She said when they returned, they met the net-door locked.
“While they were waiting for their father to open the door, the baby was yelling inside. Neighbours at this point became suspicious because they were aware of his antecedents. They started banging on the door.
“When my husband opened the door, they said he was sweating. One of them asked him to bring the baby and he did. They tried to pacify her to no avail. Can you imagine that my baby started crying from 3 p.m until 6 p.m when I returned.”
To ascertain the claim, policemen at Ejigbo reportedly took both children to the hospital where the medical result made available to journalists showed that both of them had their hymen broken.
While the report of the seven-year-old read: “normal virginal and vulva, broken hymen (dis-virgined), that of the one-year three month-old baby read: “ bruised perineum, hymen broken, absent.”
My wife is lying – Accused
But when approached, Ehijire who hails from Uhumwonde area of EdoState, denied the claim, saying it was a mere ploy by his wife to ruin him.
He said: “She is only doing this because I am jobless. I used to be a truck driver. But when the truck engine had problem, I started staying at home. This was exactly what happened to our first daughter who is now married. My wife told the children to lie against me. I did not do it.
“What happened was that last Wednesday, I was at home when my two children came back from school. I told them to show me the creche where the baby was kept and I went to bring her, with the hope that I was helping my wife.”
He, however, told Vanguard in confidence that “I swear I did not know what is wrong with me. I believe this is not real. I believe something above the natural is using me to achieve its devilish purpose.”
A mild drama, however, ensued when all of a sudden his wife started pleading on his behalf, after she over-heard the command’s spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, briefing journalists on the legal implication of the man’s act if he is found culpable.
At that point, Mrs Ehijire said she did not want her husband dead. “If he dies it will affect me as well. I want him to be dealt with and not be killed,” she said.
But Braide hinted that the suspect would be charged to court soon.