The victim is the daughter of Udoh’s elder brother.
City Round learnt that Udoh, his brother, the girl, her stepmother and stepbrothers lived in an apartment comprising a living room and a bedroom in the Yaba area of Lagos.
While the couple slept in the bedroom, 25-year-old Udoh, the minor and her stepbrothers shared the living room.
On the night the minor was allegedly assaulted, the suspect was said to have returned home drunk and met the children asleep. He reportedly undressed the girl and had sex with her.
The victim was said to have screamed, waking up her stepmother who took her to the bedroom. It was learnt that her father was not around that night.
Our correspondent gathered that when the stepmother probed into the reason why she had screamed, she revealed what Udoh did to her.
The stepmother thereafter reported the incident to the police at Sabo Police Station and Udoh was apprehended. The case was later transferred to the Gender Unit of the state police command in Ikeja. The stepmother told the police that by the time she got to the living room that night in response to the scream, she met the victim naked and Udoh half-naked.
She said, “We live in an apartment with a bedroom and a parlour. The parlour is very big so we partitioned it with a curtain. The children slept on one side while Itoro (Udoh) slept on the other side. Itoro came back from work that night. Around 1am, I heard my stepdaughter screaming. I stood up and rushed to check on her. I met her on the bed naked. I checked where my husband’s brother was and saw him half-naked. Initially, when I asked the girl what happened, she was afraid to talk. I asked her who removed her clothes and she said it was Uncle Itoro. She told me Uncle Itoro put his manhood inside her ‘bumbum’ (private parts). My husband was on duty that night.
In the morning, she complained that she could feel pain in her ‘bumbum’. When I checked her private parts, there were bloodstains there. I called my husband on the phone and informed him about it. Then I reported the matter to the police. The girl is seven years old.”
In his statement, Udoh denied that he penetrated the minor. He, however, admitted to have touched the minor’s private parts. The native of Akwa Ibom State blamed his action on drunkenness.
He said, “I came to Lagos in November 2018 and started living with my elder brother. I stayed with his wife and three children. I am an okada rider (commercial motorcyclist) and I operate around Ojuelegba. It was my brother who bought the motorcycle for me.
“I got home around 11pm. I was already drunk. I shared a room with my brother’s children. When I entered, I removed the girl’s pants and put my finger in her private parts. The girl shouted and my brother’s wife rushed in. I did not penetrate her, I only used my finger. My brother’s wife asked me what happened but I did not answer her. I was arrested by the police the following day.”
The suspect was subsequently arraigned at an Ogba Magistrates’ Court on one count of defilement.
The police prosecutor, Inspector Benson Emuerhi, told the court that the offence contravened Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.
The charge read, “That you, Itoro Udoh, on January 15, 2019, at 3am, in Yaba, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did unlawfully defile a seven-year-old girl, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.”
The prosecutor also tendered a remand application to the court, detailing how Udoh allegedly committed the offence.
The application prayed that the defendant be remanded in Kirikiri prison and the case file be duplicated and sent to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions for legal advice.
The presiding magistrate, Mrs O. Sule-Amzat, did not take the plea of the defendant.
She held that Udoh be remanded in prison custody pending the outcome of the DPP’s advice and adjourned the case till April 8, 2019.