Model narrates how she was lured, gang-raped via social media
A 23-year-old model, identified as (Complainant A), yesterday, narrated how she was lured, via social media, kidnapped and gang-raped by three men in Lagos.She made the revelation at the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court.According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Gabriel Obinna, 20, Nnadozie Akabueze, 21, and Hector Ugochukwu, 32, are accused by the prosecution of gang-raping Complainant A.
The men are facing trial, alongside one Chinedu Ezechukwu, 21, and Godwin Balogun, 25, are facing a six-count charge of conspiracy, kidnapping and rape.Complainant A, who is also a student, gave details of her ordeal while being cross-examined by the defence counsel to the five defendants, Mrs. Scholastica Nwogu, Mr. M. A. Osamede and Mr. Ethel Onuoha.“I have always been very trusting and I have good intention towards everyone.
“I have met good friends and made best friends on social media. After a period of time, I meet them in person to interact with them.“I communicated with a friend called Vanessa on social media (Instagram and WhatsApp) for six months.“We became very close and as girls do, discussed relationships and friendships with each other, as well as give each other advice.
“Vanessa told me that she was new in Nigeria from the United Kingdom (UK) and she was planning to start a fashion business in Nigeria.“Since I am in the fashion business, because I’m a model, she initiated a meeting with me to help her convince her mother to allow her embark on that business.“She told me to meet her on that day at 12 noon at her parents’ house in Agege. I got there at 11.45 a.m., but unknown to me, it was a hotel.“I called Vanessa and she said that her gateman will meet me to bring me into their house. The gateman (Akabueze) met me and helped me carry my bag when I alighted from the taxi.
“When I got inside the building, the second defendant, posing as the gateman, led me to a door, where the first defendant (Obinna) open the door, gave me a dirty slap and dragged me into the room.“The first to third defendants (Obinna, Akabueze and Ugochukwu) all beat the hell out of me and took turns to have unconsensual sex with me.“I was there till 12 a.m. I tried to escape and they beat the hell out of me,” Complainant A said.
The model reiterated during cross-examination that she was not a prostitute or lesbian, as alleged by the defendants, and that she had neither met nor had any prior relationship with them before the incident.“I’m not a lesbian. I don’t sleep with men for money. I didn’t pay a dime to get into that hotel.“I will never go to Agege to meet a man from Victoria Island, where I live,” she said.
The model said the men collected her mobile phone, money and jewelry and forced her to call her cousin to part with money for her release.The defence, in their cross-examination, showed Complainant A some nude photographs of her posing with a man to allege that she was a prostitute and had sent the photographs to the defendants.
“The man in that photograph is my boyfriend. He knew about the incident and followed me to the Police stations.“During the ordeal, the defendants stole my phone and they had my password. They got all those photographs from my phone without my consent.”She also told the court about her experience with law enforcement agencies after the incident.“I reported the incident the next day at the Ikeja Police Command and I was referred to the Mirabel Centre, Ikeja, for medical examination. I also reported the incident at the Agege Police Station.
“The Police kept asking me for money and I had ran out of money, but I heard that the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) will take the matter seriously.“The DSVRT, as predicted, took the matter very seriously,” she said with relief.According to the prosecution, led by Mr. Jide Boye, the Chief State Counsel, the defendants committed the offences at 4.30 p.m. on July 25, 2016 at the Happy Hour Hotel in Agege, Lagos.“The defendants posed as a female called Vanessa on social media platforms, like Instagram and Tinder.
“They befriended and lured the complainant (name withheld) and Complainant B (name withheld) each to the hotel on two different occasions.“When the women arrived the hotel, instead of meeting their ‘friend’ Vanessa, they encountered the defendants, who were lying in wait.“The complainants, in their similar experiences, were beaten, gang-raped by the men and forced to call family and friends to send money for their release,” she said.
The prosecution said the offences violated Sections 260(1), 271(3) and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.The defendants have since been remanded at Kirikiri Prisons in Lagos.Justice Sybil Nwaka adjourned the case until 1 p.m. on March 28, this year, for continuation of trial.
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