A student (name withheld ) on Thursday recounted before a Sexual Offences Court in Lagos how she was lured to a location by a supposed female friend she met on social media who claimed to be a fashion entrepreneur and just returned from the United Kingdom to set up a business in Lagos.
The victim, who is also a model, said her supposed online friend told her she would need her expertise to get the business moving. But it turned out it was a male gang using a female pseudonym to lure, rob and rape unsuspecting victims.
Giving evidence before Sybil Nwaka, the judge, the victim said she met a lady called Vanessa on social media.
“She told me she just moved to Nigeria from the UK that she was going to start a fashion business in Nigeria and since I have an idea of the fashion industry, that I could show her around and give her ideas and I agreed.”
“Subsequently we talked for like seven months and I got real comfortable with her because we talked a lot and I felt she was a girl entrepreneur like me and I supported her. She said her mum didn’t support her career and she would like her mum to meet me and I agreed.”
“She said she would send the address and I informed her I would take Uber but she admonished that I save on transporting so I took a bus to the address. When I got to the address, I felt it was the wrong address and called her but she said she would send her gateman over.”
“The second defendant, Naduzie Okabueze, acted like the gateman. She said she was helping her mum so she couldn’t come to pick me. On getting to the house it looked like a proper house from outside but on getting inside I felt something was wrong and called her. She said her father runs a hotel and her mum sometimes stayed there and I naively believed her.”
According to the victim, when they got to the staircase inside the house, Mr. Okabueze, joined by Gabriel Obinna and Victor Ukwu, the first and second defendants, started beating her and stripped her naked.
“They asked me to give them my ATM card saying if I didn’t give them N2 million they would kill me. They collected my phone password and pin number and asked me to start calling people to send money to me. They said I should call my parents but I lied they were both dead. I called my cousin and he sent money to me. I got there about 11:59 am and was there till 7 pm.”
“They withdrew the money my cousin sent and collected the gold chain I had on me. They took naked pictures of me and the three guys had sex with me and they were blackmailing me with the pictures they took saying if I told anybody what happened that they were going to find me and kill me.”
“The second defendant took me to the bus stop to make sure I didn’t talk to anybody. I boarded a bus and went to my cousin’s house.”
The victim said that after narrating the incident to her cousin, she insisted they go to a police station and lodge a report.
However, when they got to a police station near the Ikeja Police barracks, according to the victim, the officers were more interested in extorting money from them.
“A friend of my cousin then asked us to go to the Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Response Team at Alausa and we did.
“On getting there, they took me to Mirabel Centre and they carried out tests on me and gave me pet drugs to use for a month. They assigned a lady to follow me to make a police report in the area the incident occurred and we went to Agege Police Station.”
“Two weeks after, the five of them were caught by the police while doing the same thing they did to me to another girl and I was called to come and identify them and I did. I spoke with the other girl and she narrated the same thing on how she was in contact with Vanessa.”
When asked by the prosecutor, Jide Boye, whether she met any Vanessa, the victim said, “I never met any Vanessa. I didnt recover any of the items they collected from me. My cousin sent N50,000 and they collected N20,000 from me too and the gold chain my dad gifted me alongside my phone.”
When asked what tests she did at Mirabel Centre she said, “they took my urine, blood and removed semen from inside my body.”
Asked about the second victim, she said, “the last time I saw her was when the case was at Ogba, she said she was scared for her life and she doesn’t think she would be coming to court again.”
The defence counsel – Ms, Scholastica, counsel to the first, second and fifth defendants; Ethel Onuoha, counsel to the third defendant, and Momina Osamede, counsel to the 4fourth defendant – asked the court to give a short adjournment for cross examination in order to enable them prepare adequately.
The judge adjourned till February 16 for cross examination of the witness.
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