A father of six, Sunday Julius, is currently in police custody in Lagos over alleged defilement of four of his daughters aged seven, 10, 11 and 15.
Julius, who lives with his family in a room apartment in the Alimosho area of the state, was reportedly arrested on Monday following a complaint lodged by his wife at the Moshalashi Police Station.
City Round learnt that Julius was apprehended about seven years ago after his eldest daughter opened up that he molested her.
He was however said to have been freed through the intervention of neighbours and relations.
His wife, Semiat, told our correspondent during the week that Julius usually committed the act in the middle of the night and during the day when she had gone out to hawk.
“We got married in 2007 and have six children together,” the 36-year-old woman, who sells herbal mixture, said in Yoruba. “Our first daughter who is now 15 reported to me seven years ago that whenever we were asleep at night, he would sneak to where she slept, lie on her, and fondle her private parts.”
Semiat said her sister who was living with them then suspected foul play one evening when she (the sister) returned home and met Julius and daughter in a jittery mood.
She stated, “I reported to the police then and he was arrested. People intervened and begged me to let go. They settled the issue and we started living together again. My second, third and fourth children (all girls) also complained to me that when I went hawking, their father molested them.
“He usually did it in the middle of night when I was fast asleep. They said he always threatened to harm them if they revealed the secret. I caught him recently at night. We both slept on the same bed. He stood up, turned off the light and sneaked to the spot where our 10-year-old daughter was. The following money, I told him that I saw him fondling the girl but he denied. For four days, I didn’t give him food and he started beating me.”
The eldest daughter, 15, who is in Senior Secondary School 1, explained that her father first defiled her one evening when she came back from Arabic class.
She said, “I wanted to remove my clothes when daddy entered. He made me lie on the bed and ‘slept with’ (molested) me. He released sperm into my private parts. My aunt came in and he quickly let go of me. She later asked what happened and I explained to her that my daddy had been ‘sleeping with’ me for some time. My aunt told my mum. She (mum) blamed me for not informing her on time. I was afraid to tell anyone because daddy threatened to kill me. I didn’t know he was ‘sleeping with’ my siblings too.”
Two other siblings aged seven and 11 said their dad sexually harassed them twice in the night separately and warned them not to tell anyone.
But the 10-year-old girl among them said her father had molested her “many times at night.”
Asked why they didn’t scream for help, they said their father usually shushed them up or covered their mouths.
The Founder of Esther Child Rights Foundation, a non-governmental organisation following up the case, Esther Ogwu, said she was shocked to hear about the incident.
She said, “I have been handling rape cases but I have never seen this type. It is really shocking. It is worrisome for a father to have abused four daughters, painfully in the same room. Poverty can cause a lot of things. And that is why I am appealing to Nigerians and the government to assist the woman and her children so that they will not suffer. It is terrible. Mothers should always put eyes on their children, especially the girls.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi, who confirmed Julius’ arrest, said the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, had directed the gender unit of the police command to take over the case.
He said, “We have the case with us. He was alleged to have defiled his daughters. We are carrying out a thorough investigation into the matter as necessary medical examinations have been done. We are awaiting results. The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has directed the gender unit to do the needful on the matter. If the man is culpable, he will be charged. Justice must be done in the case.”