A 16-year-old who was sent to prison on framed up charges said he was raped by other inmates everyday.
A teenager whose age was doctored by the police and sent to Kirikiri Prison on trumped charges has narrated how he was raped several times by older inmates of the supposed correction facility.
The boy whose first name is given as Bashua, said he was only 16-years-old in 2014, when he was arrested by the police in a random raid but the police told a court that he was 19-years-old and was sent to prison where he faced daily sodomy in the hands of the older inmates.
The teenager who regained his freedom recently through the intervention of the Stephen and Solomon Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), led by Giwa Amu, a Lagos-based human rights lawyer, said he was in secondary school at the time of his arrest and was returning home from a coaching class when he was arrested by a team of policemen an charged to court for an offence he did not commit because he could not give them money at the tim of his arrest.
“I was remanded at the Kirikiri Prison and experienced being locked with over 100 inmates who were older than me. I was molested sexually. I was raped several times in a day.
They would tell me not to cry. I was in remand for one month and those days were hell for me. I was going home from Epe, after coaching class, when a team of policemen on patrol arrested me at Obalende and took me to Bar Beach Police Station, Victoria Island.
The police kept me in a cell with other boys and suspects for one week. I was arrested on November 20, 2014. The policemen told me and the other boys that we belonged to a gang that attacked a team of policemen. I denied the allegation.
I told the policemen that I’m a secondary school student. I was just 16-year-old, but they did not listen to me.
They beat us mercilessly and said we should shut up. I was in police custody for one week with other boys. Our parents were not aware we were in police custody.
The police arraigned us at Igbosere Magistrates’ Court, Obalende. They doctored my age from 16 to 19 years. The magistrate ordered we should be remanded in prison.”
The head of the Stephen and Solomon Foundation, Amu, said he was moved by the case of the boy and had to take steps for him to regain his freedom.
“His age was doctored to be 19. We started rehabilitating him since he was released because he told us that he was kept in the open cell where there is high activity of homosexuality.
He said he was raped several times a day. He is undergoing treatment and we have placed him on scholarship so he can continue his education.
As part of our prison ministry, we visit the courts regularly to help indigent accused with free legal services. We happened to be in court the day they were to be arraigned. It was a dock brief and we found out that they did not have any lawyer.”