A 14-year-old secondary school dropout, has said her 45-year-old father, Olawale Ibitoye, had been sleeping with her since she was eight at their residence in Ketu Epe area of Lagos, and married her off against her will.
The act was made public after the girl suffered prolonged labour, leading to the baby’s death.
Explaining how Ibitoye was arrested, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Imohimi Edgal, said:
“The cat was let out of the bag when the teenager became pregnant and was in labour for many days without being able to deliver the baby.
“She was then taken to a trado-medical home, where she confessed that her father had been having sex with her before he forced her into marriage with Moses Okurukpe, perhaps to cover his tracks.
“This is child marriage, sexual abuse and exploitation of the highest order.”
However, her father denied the allegation, explaining rather that his daughter left the house only to reappear with pregnancy and a man, who admitted to be responsible for the pregnancy.
According to her father, “she dropped out of school in SSS1.
I enrolled her in a sewing institute. But she fled home, only to return with pregnancy and a man, Moses, as her husband.
“When she found it difficult to give birth, she said her husband warned her not to have sexual relationship with any other man, as it was a taboo in his place.
“They did the necessary traditional rites and she was taken to a hospital where she gave birth, but the baby died. It was later she started saying that I slept with her. Why would I do such thing with my own daughter?
Her husband on his part, Moses Okurukpe, a farmer and commercial motorcyclist, claimed he never knew Raliat was 13 at that time, adding that her father collected N5,000 from him, claiming it was the amount he paid to enroll her at the sewing institute.
His words: “Although I hadn’t paid her bride price, I was taking care of her.
I gave her N500 every day.
But she betrayed me by sleeping with other men while pregnant and that was why she had difficulty in delivering the baby.
She confessed that her father had also slept with her.”