This is the question every sane mind would be asking the Family Court at Ikorodu, Lagos State in suit FCIE/3/2009 that will sit tomorrow to decide if the three young girls aged 4, 7 and 16 years respectfully will be returned back to their abusive father, a royal prince who abused them for several years to the extent of sexually exploiting his first daughter in a horrible act of incest for two consecutive years now. Did I hear you screaming, impossible? This is no Nollywood movie or a piece of make believe, it happened and the children involved are here in Lagos in flesh and blood.
On the 2nd of January, 2009, Lucy (not real name) ran away from home; reason being that her father was beating her up and was about to have sex with her again; an unimaginable act that had been going on for two years.
Her father is Prince Muka Akinsanya, son of the Oba Moibo Akinsanya, the Akufon of Idariki in Iperu Remo, Ogun State. After escaping from their home located at No 3 Jaladigbo Street, Off Alhaji Street, Ikorodu, Lagos, she ran to a friend and got some little money before running to live in a public park. She was lucky to meet a man that gave her a number to Project Alert, an NGO that handles violence against women. But Lucy was not yet a woman, she was just 15 at that point but the father had made her a woman since she was 14. Mrs. Effah Chukwuma, the executive director picked the call and directed her to their Ojodu office where she was taken in. After revealing her ordeal, Project Alert informed the police and the office of the Public Defender (OPD) in Lagos which later busted the family house at Ikorodu. On arriving there, they met the gate locked from outside. The law enforcement officers then rescued the remaining children and their Filipino mother and arrested their father.
During the first meeting OPD had with the family members and Project Alert, Lucy narrated how her father has been sleeping with her since she turned 14. In her statement, she wrote, “I am a girl who will be turning 16 years of age this year. My father is brutal and wicked; he beats me at home and for the slightest offence. He sleeps with me once in a while when he gets his chance. If mum is busy with something, he comes around disturbing my studies. Even when he calls me for classes, I don’t always feel like going because I always fear he would come again with his rubbish.”
Meet the father:
Lucy’s father is a Prince and claims he studied accounting in the USA before returning to Nigeria. He married his wife, a Filipino whom he met through pen pal relationship in 1992. He started a computer study centre and "home-schooled" his children, claiming that the educational system in Nigeria was inadequate. He preferred to teach his children and did teach them computer studies even at very young age. When he was confronted with the allegations that his daughter made against him, he owned up and confessed that he really did commit the offence and blamed the devil for his misconduct. This confession was made in the presence of his father, Oba Muibi Akinsanya, a high chief, Alhaji Adisa Onafuwa, Mr. Richard Omolashe, PRO of OPD, Project Alert, Mrs. Omotola Rotimi, the director of OPD and the Filipino wife of the prince. When his wife was asked if she knew about the abuse, she said she has forgiven her husband as he had promised not to do so again.
Criminal Offence with no charges.
Now, owning up to rape already establishes a crime had been committed and to which Prince Akinsanya should have been charged to court but the recommendation from the OPD was that he goes for psychotherapy but the Oba objected saying that it would make it look like his son is "mad." It was agreed that the children and their mother would remain in the custody of Lagos State Government with Project Alert. In fact the mother of the children was offered a job by the NGO. She stayed for three days and opted to go back to her husband leaving her children at the shelter run by the NGO. One question remains till today, why did the OPD not commence criminal proceedings against Prince Akinsanya? According to the Lagos State Child Rights Act, Prince Akinsanya used his children for child labour as they were computer literate and worked for him in his computer college-Asian American Computer Collegeand the Asian International School. He pleaded guilty but was left off the hook. Having teamed up with his wife, Prince Akinsanya started fighting to get his kids back. They wrote a petition and had the case taken to a family court which later transferred the children to the Lagos State Motherless Babies home where they have been up till now.
Lucy said she had to endure the many nights his father sexually abused her because he told her that if she runs away, he will simply start with her sister who was 7 then. Lucy is very computer literate and had been teaching computer architecture, website designs, city and town planning, video editing and movie production and digital photography to students at her father's college. Some of the beneficiaries of her skills and knowledge includes the Nigeria Police, Zone 2 Command, Onikan in Lagos. She was endorsed by the Fountain of Life Community Center from Decatur, GA, US for helping in building the mind of children for future generation and appeared on the Westerner Newspaper of Sept 15, 2008 as the Face of the Future after winning the Emerging Titan of Technology Award organized under the auspices of ICT Africa. She was dubbed the computer Whizkid and had greats dreams of making it in the IT industry. But all that depends on what happens on the 11th of October 2010. It was alleged that her father has finalized plans to have his children released back to him as the family court sits. Having the backing of his royal father, His Highness, Oba Moibo Akinsanya, the Akufon of Idarika, Iperu Remo, Ogun State, I called him on his phone 080-5887-0466 to ask him why in all these ordeal that his grandchildren were going through, he is more concerned with his son that was the perpetrator destroying the lives of the children, the line cut. I tried Prince Muka Akinanya, the father that blames the devil for sleeping with his own daughter on his mobile, 080-5233-1496 and he does not pick up.
Tomorrow is the 11th of October 2010 and the Chairman of the Family Court and Chief Magistrate, I.O Akinkugbe may deliver judgement, I hope that justice is served. But one thing still remains baffling, this man still has a pending criminal charge, when will the OPD charge him to court? I urge the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, to make an inquiry into this particular matter before these kids go back to a man that is practically insane, wicked and abusive. Maybe Lucy might not be very lucky to escape again and who knows, her seven and four year old sisters might bear the next psychological trauma of being abused by a man they call their father.