A female lecturer in one of the tertiary institutions in Rivers state has narrated how she was kidnapped and raped inside a forest in the state.
According to The Nation, the victim narrated her experience at the 6 Division of the Nigerian army in Port Harcourt.
The woman spoke of how kidnappers invaded her residence in the state capital two weeks ago. She said they came for her husband but since they could not find him in the house, she became the target.
Accompanied by her husband, the victim narrated how she suffered in the forest of Emohua local government area of the state before she finally escaped.
“I was in my house in Port Harcourt on April 30, 2019. I was alone with my children and my husband’s cousin. They were sleeping in the room. I was washing with machine at the balcony.
“Since it was around 8pm, there was a programme I always watched on Zee World. As I was washing my clothes, I was watching the programme. The main gate was locked, but the protector was open, since I had to go downstairs to get water.
“I was in the living room, when I noticed that the protector opened slightly. I was wondering, because if my husband returned from work, he would hoot and I would have to go and open the main gate for him. I was wondering who was there. The other person who was supposed to come back from work was sleeping. The next thing I saw was the key to the main door opened.
“Then I saw two guys first pointing a gun at me. One of them cocked the gun and he asked after my husband, but I said he had not closed from work. He then angrily asked why he had not closed from work at that time. I told him I wouldn’t know. He asked me to cooperate, otherwise they would finish me, saying they were not playing with me.
“He asked for my ATM card and PIN. I gave him. He asked if I had money in the house, I said no, but I had gold, which could be sold for N50,000, but they rejected it. One person took our television, another took the laptop. I was tying a wrapper with spaghetti top, since I was in my house. They then asked me to follow them. One of them asked me to get a dress, but they did not let me leave the living room.”
The woman said after giving her a dress to put on, they requested her car keys and she handed over to them after which she was taken away in a commando style.
“They put me in my vehicle and as they were about to drive out, they found it difficult, because of the space we share with our neighbour and they were hitting my neighbour’s fence. My neighbour came out and I said I was in trouble,” she said.
“Maybe he did not see me. The kidnappers put my head under the car’s seat and they drove off. I did not know the direction they followed. We then got to a place that was not motorable. So, we had to come down.
Journey Inside The Bush
“That was how we started the journey inside the bush. I asked them what I did, but they did not respond. That day, they paid me salary. I told them to let me give them the salary that was transferred to me. One of them then gave me an account number, which I forwarded my salary, N59,000 to. As we were still going inside the bush, he called someone to confirm if the person had received the alert. We later saw river that got to my knees. The leader pulled his trousers, but I had to carry my dress up.
That night, we spent about two hours in the bush, just moving around and I was barefooted, because they did not allow me to wear slippers, thereby giving me injuries. They later blindfolded me and we got to a place where they said that was where we would stay that night.
‘How I Was Raped’
I slept on bare ground in the open forest. The next morning, out of the two of them that followed me inside the bush, one of them left, remaining one, who told me that if I did not cooperate with him, to allow him to sleep with me, that four other persons would come in the afternoon and they would have me, but if I allowed him to sleep with me, he would let me go. I told him I would not be able to do it. Where I was still sitting on the floor, he masked himself with his dress and he raped me. Later in the afternoon, I stood there and I cried. If I shouted, I would not have received help. It was indeed a bush. Although, I could hear the sound of passing vehicles. When it rained heavily, we were all under the rain. I was completely wet.
They removed their clothes and had only their boxer shorts. After the rain, they cleaned themselves and wore their clothes. That was the only dress I had and I could not go naked. I was so cold. Later in the day, another one came and he asked me if I would eat, but I said I was not hungry. He said I should eat, in order not to die in the forest. He said if I died, they would still collect the ransom. They later brought packed food: fried rice with two fried meat, and sachet water with orange juice for me, but I could not eat, because I did not have appetite. I just managed to take the sachet water and the two pieces of meat.
The elderly one that came seemed nicer. He said they would never rape their victims, but I told him the other one had already raped me. He was surprised and went back to ask him. He confirmed raping me. He said in their culture, it was forbidden and that before they would let me go, they would do something. I told them I am a Christian and I would not be part of it. I said I had forgiven him and left him to God. He said when they got to our house, if they had seen N500,000, they would not have carried me.
N5m Ransom Slashed To N3m
He said teachers’ money (ransom) was N5 million, but if my husband could raise N3 million, they would let me go. Around 7 p.m. on Wednesday, they asked of what I would eat, but I said I was not hungry, but I asked them to call my people. They then called my husband, but he was calm and he said he had no money again, since they had collected the over N100,000 he had, with the ATM card.
That was when I knew that they had collected the money. I begged them to let me go, but they asked me to shut up, claiming that I was talking too much. When they noticed that I was very cold, they said they would take me to where I could warm myself. We then went further into the bush. We slept on three benches overnight. Early the next morning, we left the place. As we were about changing location, one of them said he was not comfortable with where he was going. We then went back to where we were on Wednesday.
While we were there, I had strength and I knew that members of my church were praying for me. I knew that my God would not let me down. I told God that after all my suffering, the kidnappers would not take the requested N3 million from my husband. They said my husband promised to call them before 12 noon on that day to drop the ransom. So, they were happy.
The ‘Long Walk To Freedom’
One went to sleep, while the other took his phone and went away. I waited for a while, the one that went to make call was not coming,. I did as if I wanted to urinate but the one that was sleeping did not ask me to come back. I saw it as an opportunity to escape. That was how I ran away. God helped me in the bush and I was following the sun, but I was seriously injured and bleeding. I later came out of the bush and I saw a road. I did not know where I was. I was stopping vehicles, but the dress I wore was so dirty. So, no vehicle was stopping for me.
I then saw two guys in a vehicle, they helped me. By that time, the soldiers were already looking for me. They stationed a check point by Choba Bridge (near UNIPORT). The soldiers saw me and put me in their vehicle and brought me to Bori Camp (the base of 6 Division of Nigerian Army) in Port Harcourt. They subsequently embarked on investigation . That is my story.”
Three of the arrested suspects were identified as Uche Iberi, 21, an indigene of Rumuakwude in Emohua LGA of Rivers; Destiny Kemka, 21, also from Rumuakwude; and Chile Worlu, 36, from Emohua LGA.
They were later arrested by soldiers of 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt and handed over to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The lecturer was able to identity the one who raped her.