A 24-year-old trader, Bola (pseudonym), who sells fairly-used clothes has been gang-raped by seven youths inside a plaza in the Alaba International Market, Lagos State.
Among the suspects were Abeeb Busari, 22, and 18-year-old Lawal Gbolahan, who were nabbed and arraigned in Apapa Magistrate’s Court on two counts of rape.
The duo were finally remanded in custody by a chief magistrate, Mr. P.A. Adekomaya, after they admitted to committing the crime.
The police officials in the state are currently on the trail to apprehend the other fleeing suspects.
Bola was said to be hawking her wares around 4.30pm on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 when Busari, who works as a bricklayer on a construction project at the market, called her in the guise that he wanted to buy a jacket for N500 after a bargain.
He reportedly told her to follow him to a room in a plaza at the market ─ where he had lodged ─ to collect the money for the item. Busari, it was learnt, was acting on the order of one of his accomplices, identified as Tunde, who reportedly orchestrated the crime to punish the victim for an undisclosed offence, according to Punch.
Upon getting to the room, Busari shut the door and ordered the woman to sit, while Gbolahan and the other five men came down from the roof, where they were hiding and subsequently raped her one after another.
A identified as welder, Idris Lasisi, who reportedly saw the trader and Busari, traced her to the plaza and barged into the room after about 30 minutes.
The rebels dared to use a dagger on him if he tried to raise an alarm before he fortunately escaped and alerted traders at the market, leading to Busari and Gbolahan’s arrest by policemen from the Layeni Police Station.
Confessing the crime, Busari, who hails from the Ikorodu area of the state,said it was one of the fleeing suspects that initiated the deal.
He said, “I was in the market on the fateful day when I saw Bola hawking fairly-used clothes. I deceived her that I wanted to buy a jacket and asked her to follow me upstairs to collect the money. As soon as she entered my room, I locked the door. Before then, my friend, Tunde had made arrangement with other five boys to hide inside the ceiling.
“They jumped down as soon as she came in. It was Tunde, who tore her panties and threatened her with a dagger. Idris (Lasisi) forcefully entered while the act was on, but Tunde threatened to stab him if he shouted. When we were done, I gave her N500 for the jacket, but Tunde collected it from her.”
Gbolahan, who also fingered fleeing Tunde as the mastermind of the act said he was in his house around the market when Tunde invited him and forced him to rape the victim.
He said, “I was inside my own room, when Tunde called me into the room, where Bola was kept. He told me she had offended him once and he wanted to deal with her. He forced me to join in gang-raping her.”
The charges read, “That you, Abeeb Busari, Lawal Gbolahan, and five others now at large, on May 27, 2015, at about 4.30pm, at Alaba New Market, Lagos, in the Apapa Magisterial District, did conspire to commit felony to wit: rape.
“That you and five others at large on the same date, time and place in the aforesaid magisterial district did unlawfully and forcefully have the carnal knowledge of one Bola.”
The defendants pleaded guilty to the charges, which according to a police prosecutor, ASP Olusoji Ojaokomo, contravene sections 409 and 348 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.
The case was adjourned till Tuesday, July 28, 2015.