The teenager raped by an Osun-based Islamic Cleric, Habeebulah Abdulrahman, absconded from home on Saturday.
She was, however, found on Sunday morning.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Abdulrahman raped the 16-year-old, a student of his Islamic school in Ede, a town in Osun State.
Although the cleric did not deny sleeping with the girl, he claimed he married her a day before the first ‘rape incident’.
Mr Abdulrahman could not provide any evidence of marriage as the girl and her family debunked the marriage claims.
Nigeria’s Child Rights Act prohibits having sex with anyone below the age of 18. Osun is one of the over two-dozen states where the law has been domesticated.
The cleric was charged to court for abduction instead of the rape allegation levelled by the complainants. This did not augur well with the victim and her family.
After the court sitting on Friday, the victim threatened to commit suicide if the family decides to agree to proposed terms of settlement.
She demanded that the law should be allowed to take its full course in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES.
How it happened
The victim’s elder brother with whom she has been staying since the incident, Muideen Oloyede, told this paper on Saturday night that she ran away from the house following pressure from some family members.
It was gathered that the proponents of the out-of-court settlement, who are distant relatives and elders of the extended family, argued that the accused and his family should be saved from further disgrace.
“You know I’ve always kept her from them so that they will not influence her decision. But when I was not around today, the elders came for her.
“I learnt they took her to a place to brainwash her and told her to pack her things and follow them. The girl then requested them to give her 10 naira to buy a polythene bag around for packing her clothes. She ran away from there and up till now we’ve not seen her,” he narrated on Saturday night.
Also, this correspondent learnt from multiple sources close to the family that the victim’s mother, Mrs Ibrahim, feinted upon receiving the news of the girl’s escape.
She protested that if the girl was not found, the elders who were persuading her would be held responsible.
She was however found on Sunday morning. According to sources who did not want their names in print, the girl spent the night in one of her relatives’ house.
“They said she knocked on their door in the midnight. Those ones are yet to release her as they want to report to the police for a formal release,” one of the family members said.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...