Sickle cell patient raped by stepfather forced to live on the street with her family
The teenager was raped by her stepfather, 60-year-old Joseph Salako and were sent packing after her mom confronted him and raised the alarm.
When Punch correspondent and the Executive Director, Esther Child Rights Foundation, Mrs.
“My mum had told me to always go and greet him anytime I got home. So, when I came back from school, I went to greet him. I was about leaving when he called me and said he wanted to tell me something that I must not tell anyone.
“He said he wanted to sleep with me. I refused but before I could run away, he carried me and took me inside. He tore my panties and ‘did it’. I was crying because it was paining me but he didn’t stop. I tried to shout but he covered my mouth. When he finished, he cleaned my legs and his ‘thing’ and warned me that he would kill me if I told anyone.”
She continued, “That was not the only time he did it. At other times, he would call me and tell me to ‘suck’ him and because I usually refused, he would slap me. Sometimes, in the midnight, he would come down from the bed and ‘do it’ with me. If I tried to shout, he would cover my mouth and ask if I was ready to die. I would have to endure the pain and just keep quiet.
“The day my mum saw us was the fifth time. When my mum came in, he was already doing it but when he saw the ray of light from the torch my mum was holding, he quickly stood up and went to block her. He would always promise to buy me anything I needed. We had to leave because of the incident.”.
“They took advantage of the fact that I am not literate,” she said.
She continued, “I was waiting for her to return with the cloth so I could cover her brother, but when I didn’t see her, I took my torch and went upstairs to see why it was taking her too long. When I entered the sitting room, the other children had slept and everywhere was quiet.
“So, I went towards the room and suddenly, my husband came out of the room naked and blocked the entrance with his hands. I asked him why he was blocking me but instead of answering me, he asked what I was looking for. So, I passed under his hand to see what was happening. To my greatest surprise, I found my daughter also naked on the floor. I saw my daughter’s panties close to the entrance. When I asked her what happened, she was about explaining when he slapped her and told her to keep quiet. I couldn’t hold it to myself, so I screamed and started shouting.
“His other children then came out and told me not to make noise about it so I wouldn’t disgrace their father, but I couldn’t keep it to myself. I slept in the shop with the two of them that night.” After series of threats from Salako’s children, some neighbours who later learnt about the incident, advised her to make a formal report at the police station two weeks later.
“I went to report at the Gowon Estate Police Division. Because of the way the man always pestered me for sex, I used to pray that God should help me so he could reduce his demands. So when he stopped asking, I thought my prayer had been answered not knowing that he had transferred his urge to my daughter.
“I didn’t know he could do that to my child even when he is not the father. This is the man I was married to for nine years. These days, anytime I come across him or his children, they keep threatening me.”
“I’m willing to work but there is none,” she said. Tomilola has also been helping in sustaining the family with the little she earns from a canteen where she washes plates.
While they continue to live in the unsafe kiosk, which is open to the severe weather conditions that SS patients should not be exposed to, Salako has remained a free man.
“As I’m speaking to you, I don’t know where she is. I didn’t do anything to her daughter. The money I’m paying to the police is the money she asked from me sometime ago. I’ve paid her N25,000 already,” he said.
“Rape is a crime, regardless of what the complainant says. That woman was helpless and she must have taken that decision under pressure, because she doesn’t have anybody to help her. We want people to help her because she really needs help, more so for the sake of her children.”
“When they came here, the woman was crying and begging us not to take him to court. So, now if she wants us to do that, she should come to us and we will look into it, but the test result didn’t produce sufficient evidence,” he added.