A mother (name withheld) told a sex and domestic violence court in Ikeja that her three daughters, aged 12, 9 and 7, were allegedly defiled by a cleric. The victim’s mother made the disclosure during her testimony on the second prosecution witness in the trial of Ibrahim Idris, a 26-year-old cleric, accused of defilement.
The mother of six, who is also married to a religious, while being directed by the state council, Mr. Gbenga Alagbe, told the court that she had learned of the alleged defilement of a teacher from the school attended by his daughters. “In 2017, I received a call from the teacher at the school where my children go for lessons. The teacher told me that one of my daughters had said something to her and that she wanted me to hear what she had said myself. “When we got to the school office, my oldest daughter (daughter A) said that Idris had slept with her and her younger sisters. “The teacher told me that earlier while girl“ A ”was being asked about the allegations, she ran out of the classroom. “A mother saw her and brought her back to school and when she saw a teacher, she was scared because Idris slept with her and every time she saw a teacher, she retired and had scared, “said the mother.
The mother said that after the revelation, she brought her children back from school and her husband, who was not there during this period, arrived two days later on August 11, 2017.
However,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.” Justice Nwaka adjourned the case until March 4 for the continuation of trial.