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ExxonMobil engineer arrested for allegedly raping 14-year-old

A worker with a multinational oil and gas corporation, ExxonMobil, identified as James, has allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl in the Lekki area of Lagos State.

PUNCH Metro learnt that James, an engineer, who was also the landlord of the house where the victim’s guardians live, gave the girl N1,000 to assuage her feelings and stop her from revealing what transpired between them.

However, the three-year-old daughter of the tenant, who witnessed the rape, was said to have exposed the suspect.

The case was reported at the Langbasa Police Division from where the victim was taken to a medical centre in the Eti-Osa Local Government Area.

Our correspondent gathered that the test result showed that there was forceful penetration, while semen was also recovered from the victim’s private parts.

A human rights organisation, Women Association of The Good People, which took up the case, urged the authorities to give justice to the victim.

The group in a statement said the incident happened last Monday while the tenant, who was the victim’s uncle, was away from home.

It said, “On Monday, January 4, 2016, Mr. James, who works with ExxonMobil and who is also a landlord of a property on the Lagos Island, raped a 14-year-old who happened to be the niece of his tenant.

“James decided to visit the home of his tenant who had advised him earlier that they wouldn’t be at home. Only the 14-year-old niece and their three-year-old daughter were at home on that faithful day.

“He knocked on the door of the flat and was attended to by the 14-year-old who told the landlord that her uncle and aunt were not home. He, however, insisted on entering the home of his tenant to wait for them.

“The naive girl, who had only been in Lagos for three weeks, opened the door and allowed him in.”

The suspect was said to have checked round the house.

After also checking the wardrobe, he was said to have started a conversation with the victim, asking for her name, age and other details.

“James pushed the young girl on the bed and, while she tried to scream, he covered her mouth and forcefully had his way with her…in the presence of the three-year-old.

“In a bid to console her after the act, he gave her N1, 000 and left.

“Her aunt came home and met her hysterical and inconsolable. After asking repeatedly what happened and the girl was unable to answer, the three-year-old daughter recounted the story to her mother, saying, ‘Mummy, landlord came, he pushed (named withheld) on the bed and he do like this…like this… on top of her,’ describing to her mum and innocently recreating the movements she saw,” the statement added.

The woman was said to have reported to her husband, before the case was reported at the police station.

A medical report was said to have been obtained the following morning, which confirmed a case of rape.

The suspect was, however, said to be at large and did not respond to police invitation to respond to the allegation.

“As of January 8, he failed to report to the police station at 9am as he had promised. Instead, he called the victim’s family (his tenants) repeatedly and tried to convince them to meet him. His calls prior to this were threats to evict them.

“We are concerned citizens saddened by the incident, which numerous bodies are also aware of. But the suspect has yet to be apprehended,” the statement said.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmus, confirmed the incident, adding that the suspect had been arrested and the case transferred to Zone 2 Command, Onikan.

She said, “The police have arrested the man and he has been taken to Zone 2 because a petition was also sent to Zone 2 on the matter.”

The Zone 2 spokesperson, Mr. Adebowale Lawal, promised to call back our correspondent on the matter.

In its reaction, the Manager, Media and Communications, Mobil Producing Nigeria, Oge Udeagha, said the company was aware of the matter.

An email from Udeagha read in part, “Mobil Producing Nigeria, operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC/MPN Joint Venture, confirms that the police authorities on January 11, 2016, notified it of an alleged case of defilement brought against one of our personnel that is unrelated to his duties with the company.

“MPN promptly notified the employee of the police invitation and advised he make himself available to the authorities as requested. We understand he is already cooperating with the police. MPN has the highest regards for the law and has offered assurances of our full support with investigations, if required, to police authorities.”