Little Mariam, 6, has recounted how she was raped seven times by the 21-year-old son of her school’s proprietress, Sirotullahi Abdufatahi.
The minor narrated how ‘uncle’ Sirotulahi would come to her room some nights to pull her out of the bed she shares with other girls who are her mates at a boarding school called Medinat Al Munawarat Islamic Nursery and Primary School located at Iju, Ogun state, to rape her.
The Basic One pupil said Sirotulahi usually instructed her to pull down her pant and eventually have forceful canal knowledge of her.
Narrating her ordeal to the Punch, Mariam, wearing a long hijab, said: “Uncle Sirotullahi usually came to our room where we sleep. When they switch off the light, he would come and pull me from the bed.
“Then, he would pull down my pant and also remove his own trousers. He always bring out his thing and put it in my ‘bum’ here (pointing to her crotch).
“Sometimes, he would come into the room and take another girl,” she said.
Asked how many times this happened, Mariam counted her fingers as if to remember and said seven times.
Her mother, Sola, said she had to send Mariam, her only child to the boarding school at such a young age because it was run by people in her religion, and she believed she could get the right education and care as she worked to cater for her.
She said, “I did not imagine something like this could ever happen to my daughter in that school.
“I have known the school proprietress, Mrs. Modinat Ashafa, and mother of the suspect since she was younger and she was a student of the woman at a point.
“I didn’t notice anything was wrong with Mariam when I bathed her and neither did she complain about any discomfort, until the week Mariam was supposed to resume school for the year, she was at her big aunty’s house when she decided to share with her cousin, a girl about her age, her “school stories”.
“I realised the last abuse might have taken place long before their holiday, maybe that was why I did not notice any physical discomfort at the time she came home.
“Immediately my aunty told me what my daughter told her own daughter, I examined my daughter and was shocked by what I saw. It was obvious the hole I saw there did not come there during one encounter.
“I rushed to the school and confronted the proprietress. Rather than invite his son to ask him questions, she picked up her phone, called and asked him if it was true he was raping the girls he taught. Of course, he denied it.
“I then took my daughter to a hospital where some doctors examined her and confirmed what I already knew. She was only examined, they did not test her for diseases. The doctors said she had indeed been defiled,” Sola added, sobbing.
Continuing, she said, Sirotullahi had also warned Mariam never to tell anybody, in fact threatening her that she was going to die if she told me, her mother.”
Sola stated that they contacted Ashafa (suspect’s mother) and she begged for the case not to be reported.
At a point, she sobbed, asking that she would do whatever was needed to appeal to the family of the girl.
Ashafa was quoted as saying, “When I was informed about the case, I called my son and he denied it. He is currently in Sokoto where he is schooling.
“He is not 21, he is just a 15-year-old secondary school student. I was confused when he denied the accusation because I did not think my son would lie.
“He was at home for holiday at the time he allegedly raped the girl. When he came, because we do not have enough teachers, I told him to help out by teaching the lower classes. I have been operating this kind of school for over 27 years.
“My son swore that he knew nothing about it. I don’t know what to do. Truly, the mother has told me about her visit to the hospital and about how much she needs to pay for treatment and tests on the girl but I have no money. I have been very broke.
“I told her that she should be patient with me and that I would find the money. I can only beg her. If it is about money, I will find money.”
But Sola refuted Ashafa’s claim that her son was ‘just 15 years old’.
She said, “I’m very sure the boy is 21, not 15. Even if he is 15, so what?” Sola quizzed, begging for the case to be handled and properly investigated.
The Punch noted that the report has not been officially reported at the Ogun Police Command where the incident happened