Tragedy struck the sleepy town of Obite, Etche
Local Government Area of Rivers State on a Sunday
afternoon, a two month old pregnant woman was
raped by a gang of four men after being lured into a
house by relatives of her husband. The husband, Mr
Stanley Sunday (not his real name) has been
offshore for some time found out of the rape after
being shown the viral video of the rape by his
colleagues, he could not believe his eyes as he
could identify with the lady’s voice and face as his
wife’s own as he watched the video.
Upon rushing home, he confronted the victim, his
wife which she denied for reprisal of attack on her
life, his life and those of our family members. The
conspiracy thickens after he lost his son to the
deadly disease HIV/AIDS which the wife and son
contacted from the rape orchestrated by some
people in the community, including a member of his
The Nations reports
On a rainy Sunday afternoon in June, Obite, Etche
Local Government Area of Rivers State wore an
innocent look. Nothing gave it away as the scene
where four men gang-raped a pregnant wife of their
relative and indigene of the community.
Driving through the tranquil town on that soggy
Sunday, it was hard to picture it as the setting for
the sordid rape that travelled through and repulsed
the world in 2011 and became erroneously known
as ‘Abia rape’.
Mr Stanley Sunday (not his real name), husband of
the victim, said Obite was where the crime took
place. The police think so too.
Pointing to a nondescript bungalow in one of the
suburbs, Mr. S (as he preferred to be known in this
report) told Niger Delta Report in an emotion-laden
voice: “That is where they raped my wife”.
The hapless woman was pregnant with a child,
whose fate was sadly sealed by the rape.
Mr S refused to speak with us inside his house – a
bungalow on the outskirts of the village – because
of fear that we could be attacked by the rapists and
“We must talk quickly and you leave; I do not want
to put your lives in danger,” he said.
When reports of the rape first surfaced on the
internet in August 2011, it was said to have
occurred at the Abia State University (ABSU). The
rapists were thought to be students of ABSU.
Governor Theodore Orji and his wife Mercy lent
their voices to the gale of condemnation, with ABSU
denying that”there was no such inglorious act and
ugly incident in the institution.”
Mr. S said: “Some of the rapists did not even finish
their secondary education; none of them is a
student of the institution.”
The heartbroken man hinted of conspiracy between
some powerful persons in the community, including
a member of his extended family, and the rapists.
“They know what they did; the activities they and
their boss are engaged in,” he added.
He said his wife told him that there were eight men
in the room when she was molested.
“Four of them raped her, while the other four acted
as bouncers, guard and commanders.”
Kept in the dark
Our checks revealed that the distraught husband
found out about the sordid affair late. He had also
lost a son to HIV/AIDS infection, which his wife is
believed to have contacted from the rapists.
Attempts by our reporter to speak with the victim
met brick walls. At her family’s home in Nazi,
Owerri, where she moved in with her parents, we
were told she had relocated to the village,
ostensibly because of the stigma from the incident.
Her sibling, who was contacted on telephone,
became suspicious and hung as soon as we told
him we were trying to reach his sister.
Over one year after he found out, Mr S could not
completely conceal the hurt and betrayal in his
voice when he spoke.
He said he found out about the rape of his wife
through his colleagues. He was working offshore
when his colleagues started discussing the “evils
going on in the society. They said I should see what
evil people are doing. I was not interested until they
started talking about a sad one that happened in
Abia State. They said university students raped their
colleague, videoed and posted it on the internet. I
said they must be cultists to have done such things.
“When they started narrating it, I got interested and
asked to see the video. When I saw it (video), I
listened to what the woman was saying but it was
her voice that struck me. I was shocked; I said
within myself ‘am I dreaming?’ The woman in the
video had my wife’s voice, face and the hair style?
“I couldn’t contain myself; I asked my colleague to
transfer the video to my mobile phone. I did not tell
him why I wanted the video, but I wanted to
compare it with her (wife’s) photo I have on my
laptop computer back at home.”
After some time, he got time-off from work in an
offshore location and went home to confront his
wife and his worst nightmare. He said the woman
initially denied she was the woman in the video
before he pressured her into confessing.
Obite’s indigenes, who asked not to be named, said
the husband was so angry that he summoned a
family meeting and threatened to divorce his wife, if
she did not open up.
“It was then that the woman narrated that she was
going to visit her husband’s relative when she was
lured into the house by the suspects, some of
whom are her husband’s relatives,” said a source.
Confirming this, Mr S said: “She said she hid it from
me because of the threat to her life, my own life and
those of our family members.”
More intriguing, according to our checks, was that
most of the man’s relatives in the town reportedly
knew about it before he was aware. More
perplexing, Mr S said, was that one of his relatives,
a very influential member of the community, was
fingered as the godfather of the boys, who raped his
“I didn’t know what she was going through, what
had happened to my wife. She was living with me
and cooking for me while living this horror and fear
that they would kill her if she told me or go to the
“The worst aspect of the case is that they infected
her with the deadly disease (HIV). When this
incident happened, my wife was pregnant (about
Yet his feeling of sorrow and empathy failed to save
the marriage. Although he would not confirm or deny
report that he was separated from his wife, yet he
said he had not seen her for over two months when
we met him in Obite.
“She is living with her parents in Owerri. I do call
her and we talk once in a while. I even took her to
TB Joshua’s church in Lagos when we were finding
solution to the case (her infection).”
Our investigations revealed that the husband’s
anger was fuelled by a tragedy that earlier struck
the couple in 2011 when their six-month-old son –
the first child of the marriage – died of
complications resulting from a mysterious HIV
He said: “The child was taken to a children’s clinic
located in GRA Phase 1, Port Harcourt after he fell
ill with cough, about two months after his birth. He
was coughing without stopping and we had to take
the child to the specialist hospital.”
At the hospital, the child and mother were
diagnosed with the deadly Human Immune Virus
(HIV). The blood report from a Haematology
Laboratory Request form dated August 5, 2011, (a
copy is in Niger Delta Report’s possession),
showed that the mother and child tested positive to
HIV antibodies. The father’s result was negative.
The result struck a blow that shook the young
marriage to its foundation.
The child was barely two months old and had just
be dedicated at a Pentecostal church with fanfare
and an elaborate celebration party in mid-June
Before the incident, Mr S was surprised when the
doctors asked for his blood sample for a routine
“I told them that it was my child that was ill and not
me. But they insisted and I had to allow them even
though I didn’t know why.”
After the test, top management staff of the hospital
(names withheld) invited the couple to a meeting
where they broke the sad news to them. “They told
me I am a lucky man; my wife and son had HIV but
I don’t have. I was surprised. I didn’t know what to
say. I asked ‘what is the luck in that when my wife
and child were infected?’”
The hospital declined comment when contacted. An
official politely cited the sensitive nature of the
diagnosis and doctor/patient secrecy oath,
stressing that the hospital should not be mentioned
in this report.
A medical source, who spoke on condition of
anonymity, confirmed the report.
It was gathered that the revelation rocked the
foundation of the couple’s marriage with both family
members getting involved in the effort to solve the
mystery. Mrs S was accused of infidelity and
almost sent packing when the child died two
Yet, she refused to disclose the source of her
anguish until her husband confronted her with the
It was while the couple was managing the crisis
resulting from the child’s death that Mr. S stumbled
on the rape video and possible answer to mystery
of the HIV infection.
If his wife was cowed by the threat, the angry
husband was unfazed and determined to bring the
harbingers of his misfortune to justice. He
immediately dragged his wife to the Rivers State
Police Command’s Criminal Investigation
Department. The case was assigned to an inspector
of police identified as Mr. Eneje.
The victim was taken in by the police for
interrogation after which she identified three
suspects as part of the gang. A fourth suspect
narrowly escaped and was still at large at the time
of this report.
The suspects are: Uchenna Ukulor, Chizoba Nwosu,
Nwazuo Nmezi and one person at large.
Mr S said as soon as the suspects were arrested,
some prominent members of the community met
and decided that he withdrew the case from the
police and let bygone be bygone. When he refused,
he said he was banished from the community.
However, it was gathered that weeks after the
police began investigation, Mr S lost his job. He
claimed that he was victimised because of his
insistence on bringing his wife’s abusers to justice.
He said some members of the society boasted after
he lost his job that”let’s see how he is going to
pursue the case now”.
He added: “Since I came to the knowledge of the
incident and began the move to prosecute the
suspects, my life has been under threat; the
suspects are after me, their sponsor (names
withheld), is after me. They have been making
frantic efforts to eliminate me.”
He said the threats were so serious that he and his
wife had to temporarily relocate to the Police
Headquarters during the investigations.
Attempts to scuttle the case
Although scores of persons were either arrested or
interrogated over the incident, the trial has dragged
on for over a year amid reports of attempts to bribe
the police and other agencies involved in the
Police Inspector Eneje, who investigated the matter,
refused to comment on reports that he was offered
inducement to ‘close the case’. He said the police
had concluded its investigation and arrested
suspects who were charged to Magistrate’s Court
9, Port Harcourt.
Records obtained from the court indicated that the
case file was transferred to the Department of
Public Prosecution (DPP) for advice last year after
the court declined jurisdiction on the ground that it
was not competent to try the suspects.
At the DPP office, a source, who spoke on condition
of anonymity, said the prosecution was delayed
when certain key evidence disappeared from the
Our source said: “The photographs and other
exhibits needed to prosecute the case disappeared
but I think efforts are being made to retrieve them
Solicitor-General of the State and Permanent
Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Rufus Godwin, who
was contacted, referred us to the chief registrar,
insisting that he could not speak on the case
without the charge sheet number.
‘Rapists’ on the loose
Nevertheless, while the case winds painfully
through prosecution, the suspects, Ukulor, Nwosu
and Nmezi, have returned to their normal lives,
much to the angst of Mr S, his distraught wife and
members of the human rights community.
It was gathered that the suspects were granted bail
in late last year.
Mr S, who said the release of the suspects, has
further heightened fear over his safety, said: “We
don’t even know the position of the matter now;
since last year we were told that the DPP advice
was being awaited. The suspects are walking freely
everywhere; even one of them just got wedded
about two months ago.”
He said his family has been let down by the
government, which allowed the case to drag on until
it is almost forgotten.
He said: “Well, one thing I believe is that the crime,
humiliation was not committed only against me,
they did it to Nigeria, Nigerians in general and
women all over the world in particular.”
The Director of Programmes, Centre for
Environment, Human Rights Development (CEHRD),
Steve Obodoekwe, agreed that the crime was
against humanity, not just the family involved.
He expressed dissatisfaction with Ministry of
Justice’s handling of the case, adding: “It is not one
of such cases that should be swept under the
carpet; it is unfortunate to hear that the matter is as
good as dead.
“Right now, we learnt that the suspects earlier
arraigned in a Magistrate’s Court in connection with
the crime are no longer in custody, even when the
DPP’s advice is yet being expected and the matter
not yet before any High Court either in the state or
country. This is, indeed, very appalling.”
He called for the conduct of a probe on how the
suspects ‘escaped’ from custody.
Obodoekwe said: “They should be rearrested and
detained, charged to court and tried accordingly. We
are also recommending that those that let them off
the hooks should be equally fished out and given
the same treatment as the criminals.
“This is because, we are in Nigeria, and obviously
nothing goes for nothing in this country. Those that
released them from custody must have done deals
with them, and so should be given even worse
treatment than the suspects.
“A serious matter like ‘gang rape’ is what we are
talking about here, you arrested some suspects
took them to the Magistrate’s Court which we know
have no powers to try capital offences. Now we are
hearing that they are moving freely everywhere like
free persons. It is unheard of; it is evil.
“One thing that is certain in this whole issue is that
the incident is not a crime against the victim and
her family; it is a crime, humiliation against the
state, Federal Government and I want the ministry
of justice to know this.”
It is uncertain when the family will get justice, but
what is sure is that the last has not been heard of
this gang rape, even though the video has been
pulled from the internet.
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