13 year old Chinemerum was brought to her aunt in Warri, Delta State, in 2013, as a domestic assistant. The aunt was delivered of a baby girl three months ago. Chinemerum had been enrolled at Ekpan Basic Secondary School in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State. But her aunt’s husband, Onyeji, allegedly began to have sex with the minor as soon as she arrived in his home. Onyeji, it was gathered, works with an offshore engineering company in Warri.
The bubble burst a fortnight ago when the aunt found out ,rather than pity her girl and scorn her hubby, the woman used a hot knife on the little girl and excoriated her. The deed landed the woman in Ekpan Police Station. She was soon released on the grounds that she was nursing a three-month-old baby. The husband was away at work on Monday, June 29, when his deed came to light. The girl is now undergoing medical care in the custody of her school counsellor, Mrs Rita Oboh.
In the meantime, EBENEZER ADUROKIYA, who spoke with Chinemerum at the police station, presents excerpts from his interaction with the minor.
Can you tell us your name and the school you attend?
My name is Chinemerem Nworie. I’m 13 years old.I attend Ekpan Basic Secondary School.I am in JSS 2
We were in the class. I had brought some money to school — about N1500 — which I kept inside my mathematical set. In the afternoon, no teacher came to our class. They were having a meeting in the staff room. So, I said, ‘let me use this opportunity to go and buy what I wanted to use the money for.’ But when I opened the mathematical set, I did not find the money. I went to the staff room and reported to our teacher. The teacher came and searched all my classmates, but she didn’t see the money. Angry, my classmates followed me home to know who gave me such amount of money. When they got there, the gateman called my aunt. When my aunt came out, they told her I brought N1500 to school. Later in the evening, around 9.00 p.m., she asked me who gave me the money and I said it was uncle (her aunt’s husband) that gave me the money. Then she lit the stove and put a knife on it. She asked me why uncle gave me the money. Before I could tell her that her husband had been sleeping with me, she used the hot knife to pierce my body.
How many times did your ‘uncle’ sleep with you?
He has been doing it for over two years.
Did you report your ‘uncle’ to your aunt?
Yes, I once told her, thinking that she would take me back to my parents, but when she confronted him, he denied it.
When was the last time he slept with you?
I can’t remember.
Did he give you money before he travelled recently?
Yes, he gave me the money (N1,500) on Monday (June 29) before he travelled.
Did he sleep with you before he travelled?
How often did he sleep with you?
He normally comes back on Fridays and goes back on Monday.
So, he would sleep with you during that period?
Where would his wife be at that time?
She was either dropping the children at school or she was in the market.
Which of them is your relation?
Who is she to you?
She is my mother’s cousin.
Have you told any of your teachers at school before now or did he warn you not to tell anyone?
Yes, he warned me not to tell anyone. He said I should not tell his wife or I would be in trouble.
The first time he slept with you, did you tell your aunt?
Has any other person slept with you before?
No, he was the first person that slept with me.
What did he say when he came to you? Did he force you?
He forced me. He would tell me to come to his room. If I went there, he would forcibly remove my clothes and tell me not to worry because my aunty was not here.
Didn’t you shout?
I normally shouted, but nobody would come.
How many children does he have?
Four. Three boys and a girl.
How old are the children?
The eldest is eight years old. The second is four years old, the next one is three years old and the last one is three months old.
Are your parents alive?
Have you told them what your aunt’s husband has been doing to you?
I have not seen them.
What about your friends at school, did you tell them about what has been happening to you?
I told some of them.They told me that I should tell my aunty, but due to fear, I couldn’t tell her. They told me that anytime he wanted to do it, I should struggle. So, sometimes if he wanted to do it, I would hold the handle of the door and he would leave me alone and tell me to go.
How much did he usually give you?
Sometimes, N200 and sometimes N500 or N1000.
What did you always do with the money he gave you?
I used it to buy maths set and novels. I also used it to buy food.
They say you come late to school everyday…
Yes.Before I would come to school, my aunty would drop the children in school. She would come back around 9.00 a.m. And sometimes if I have not finished my chores, she would tell me to finish them before going to school.
How does she drop the children in school, do they have a car?
Why did your parents give you to them?
It was because my aunty gave birth and she could not walk normally. Somebody must carry her. When she was pregnant, she could not walk and when she gave birth, she could not walk normally, so, her mother came to my mother’s house and said that they wanted me to help her in the house.
There are some marks on your back, what offences did you commit?
This one (pointing at an fresh wound), she asked me to cook yam. When the yam was boiling, she came and shouted why I had to cut the yam in big pieces. She said I should have cut it in little pieces. That time, I was wearing a gown with zippers. She then took out a hot piece of yam and put it on my back.
Didn’t you shout? Don’t you have neighbours?
Yes, we do but everybody is on their own.
When your ‘uncle’ came back from work, did he not see all these marks and the scars all over you?
This one (pointing at another sore), she hurt me and said I shouldn’t tell anybody or she would kill me.
Your uncle did not see you with these marks or he left for office before she did it?
What does she use to beat you?
Sometimes she uses stick. Sometimes she uses turner and sometimes she uses rod.
You also have sores on your legs. What is the cause of that one?
A hot knife.
The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ekpan Police Station, CSP Chris Sogbara, has said nothing will stop the case from going to court.