A mother (name withheld) told an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court that her three daughters, aged 12, nine and seven were allegedly defiled by a cleric.
The victim’s mother made the revelation while testifying as to the second prosecution witness in the trial of Ibrahim Idris, a 26-year-old cleric, charged with defilement.
The mother of six, who is also married to a cleric, while being led in evidence by the state counsel, Mr Gbenga Alagbe, told the court that she got to know about the alleged defilement from a teacher in the school her daughters attend.
“In 2017, I received a call from the teacher of the school my children go to for lessons. The teacher told me that one of my daughters told her something and that she wanted me to hear for myself what she said.”
“When we got to the office at the school, my oldest daughter (Daughter A) said that Idris slept with her and her younger sisters.”
“I was told by the teacher that earlier while Daughter “A” was being interrogated about the allegations, she ran out of the class.”
A mother had seen her and had taken her back into the school and when she saw a male teacher she was scared because Idris was sleeping with her and anytime she sees a male teacher, she becomes withdrawn and scared,” the mother said.
The mother said following the revelation, she took her children home from the school and her husband, who was not around during that period, arrived two days later on Aug. 11, 2017.
She noted that when the father arrived, the defendant was summoned to their residence.
“We asked him about the allegations and he insisted nothing happened. We took him to the police station for questioning and we were referred to the Mirabel Center at Ikeja for medical examinations.”
“I had asked Daughter B (9-years-old) about the allegations and she said it was true, I had asked Daughter A (12-years-old) about the allegations but she was afraid to tell me what happened.”
“However, when we got to the police station, Daughter A told me what had happened,” the mother said.
While being cross-examined by the defence counsel, Mr Lekan Ijelu, the mother said the defendant had been living with her family when he allegedly committed the crimes.
She noted that he had stopped residing with her family when the allegations came to light.
“He lived with us for seven or eight years, when he was living with us permanently, he used to go for his Islamic classes in the morning around 8 am and returns around 5 pm.
“When he was temporarily residing with us, he used to stay on Fridays to Sundays,” she said.
The mother told the court that there were six adult males including the defendant, who had lived in her home with her husband who was also a cleric.
She said she was shocked when she heard the allegations.
“He is a gentle boy, he says the truth all the time and when I’m going out, I leave my kids with him to take care of them for me, I trusted him so much, I was shocked to hear what he did to my daughters,” she said.
Following her evidence, the state prosecutor appealed to the presiding judge to address the mother to ensure that the mother brings her three daughters to court to testify against Ibrahim.
“My lord, the witness said that she did not want to bring her daughters to testify because she feels it may be traumatic for them,” Alagbe said.
Responding, Justice Sybil Nwaka told the mother that preventing her children from coming to court will amount to the offence of obstruction of justice.
“The children are victims they must come to court to testify. This case is not your case, it is the case of the Lagos State Government.”
“You reported the case, the children must come to court to testify, that is the process and procedure if not you will be regarded as a hostile witness and that is an offence,” Justice Nwaka said.
Responding the mother said, “my lord I feel it has been a long time, I do not want them to be reminded of what happened.”