A journalist in Ondo town, Lanre Duyile, at the weekend accused the police of a cover up in a case of an alleged sodomy on his eight-year-old son by a 17-year-old pupil of St. Joseph’s College, Ondo.
Duyile narrated the ordeal of his son to The Nation and accused the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Fagun Station, Ondo of allegedly releasing the suspect hours after he was arrested, without his consent.
He said his son always stayed with their neighbours when he returned from school, waiting for him and his wife to come back from work.
Duyile alleged that he did not know that the boy was usually abused by an older person.
He alleged that the abuser, after sodomising his son, threatened him not to tell anyone, or else something terrible would happen to him.
Duyile alleged: “Each time we go to work, my children stay with our neighbour. I did not know that my neighbours’s son had been having carnal knowledge of my son.
“The boy is a pupil of St Joseph’s College, Ondo. He is 17-year-old, while my son is eight.
He had been having anal sex with him for a long time.
“Later, each time I took my son out for a stroll, he touched people’s private parts in public. But I didn’t pay attention to this habit until someone brought it to my notice.
“So I threatened him when we got home and he confessed that my neighbour’s son had been sleeping with him since a long time ago and threatened him not to tell anybody.”
He said he got the suspect arrested at Fagun Police Station, adding that the family came to beg that the matter be resolved, which he agreed to do, but the DPO insisted the case be taken to court.
Duyile alleged that he was shocked when he learnt that the boy had been released without his consent.
He alleged: “Immediately I got the boy arrested at Fagun Police Station, his family came to beg me that we should settle the matter. I initially agreed.
“So we went to the station to end the case and get the boy released. On getting there, the DPO said they should sue the boy the following Monday. So I left, but before I got home, I discovered they had released him.
“They released him without my knowledge. I became angry and said the whole world must know what happened to my son.”
Duyile accused the police of not being interested in how to conduct a medical test on his son, saying they told him to go and do it.
“The suspect’s family should be responsible for the test, but they left me alone to do it. So I sense a connivance with the police, particularly the DPO, in a bid to sweep the matter under the carpet,” he alleged.
The journalist said his son was traumatised, as he cried all day, begging that he be taken to a new environment.
He alleged that since the case was reported, the DPO had put him under pressure, which prompted him to relocate his family because of unforeseen circumstances.
Police spokesman Femi Joseph denied the allegation that the police were trying to cover up the case.
He said according to the information at his disposal, Duyile refused to show up to enable them conduct a medical test on his son.
Joseph said the father of the abused boy was the one who refused to show up for the test.
“We are ready to take the case to court,” he added.
But Duyile said the police were only being economical with the truth, as they told him to go and sort out the medical.
He said he had gone to Ondo State Specialist Hospital for screening for two tests, namely RVS and Hepatitis, adding that the tests showed negative.
Duyile said his son’s anus was also tested and found to be normal.
A Lagos-based Non-Government Organisation, the Center for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE), has taken up the case.
It described it as sad.
The Executive Director, Betty Abah, urged the police to do the needful, as it would send petitions to appropriate quarters, to prevent a cover up.
She alleged: “We are surprised that the police allowed the suspect to go home 12 hours after he was arrested. We are in touch with the boy’s father. We have assisted him to conduct tests on the boy. We are determined to ensure justice.”
Efforts to reach the suspect’s mother, identified as ‘Mama Lekan’, to get her side of the story, proved abortive, as she insisted that our correspondent called the wrong line, after refusing to pick calls with different numbers.
– The Nation