• I didn’t know what came over me – Rapist
•People engaged in rape for ritual purposes –Police IG
For Nigeria to logically fight the worrying increase in the rape and rape-related murders plaguing the country, there is the need for a conscious effort by all stakeholders towards understanding the minds of the rapists before proffering a solution, else the country’s effort to stem the tide will be tantamount to shadow chasing. CHIJIOKE IREMEKA writes that the touted castration of the rapists in itself, as a solution, will not guarantee desired result
did not know what came over me. Few days ago, just before my friend, Sola went back to school, all of us – Sola, Jane and I – were chatting and playing games in Sola’s room as we have always done. Something happened and I became attracted to Jane,” confesses Tunji on how he raped and killed his best friend’s younger sister, Jane.
The confession of Tunji is what every parents should take to heart, especially those who have large networks of friends in their homes, if the tragedy that struck in Sola’s house would not repeat itself elsewhere.
Tunji had a mindset, which he nurtured over a period of time before he executed his enterprise, and for the country to successfully nip in the bud, this mindset of rapists, raping and killing their victims, the intents of the likes of Tunji should be examined with a view to determining rapists’ mental psychology.
It’s often said that when the cause of a problem is successfully diagnosed, the solution becomes easy; else, one will be wallowing in stack ignorance in proffering solutions that would not remedy the already damaged situation.
Sunday Telegraph’s finding revealed that a rapist does not need 100 or 90 percent testosterone in the body to perpetuate a crime as their actions require a minute quantity of it, as low as 10 per cent to spark off rape propensities.
It was learnt that their actions in most cases are not spontaneous rather premeditated, hence, this works against the idea that a mere castration of the rapists, as they would to a bull, will calm their nerves, experience have shown.
“A single thought in his mind and well nurtured is enough to spark off rape propensities, showing that rape sometimes, is not about what you see, rather what you think; it’s not about what you wear, though a report shows that mode of dressing can spark off rape thoughts and the action,” says a behavioural psychologist, Dr. Ben Ehiozhe.
“Physical or chemical castration does not guarantee that a man will forever be sexually dysfunctional or that he won’t again commit rape. If he was castrated, his testosterone levels would drop significantly but not all the way to zero.
“Most testosterone is produced by the testes, but some is made in the adrenal glands above the kidneys. Moreover, men who take testosterone, through pills or injections, could easily restore natural levels of the hormone allowing them to have sex despite their lack of testicles and hence, not a solution on its own,” he added.
He insisted that a dose of testosterone will spark off a sex drive in a castrated rapist and allows him to perpetuate even more crimes because the axe hasn’t been laid at the root of the problem, saying that psychological and psychiatric treatments will achieve more than castration as majority of rape cases are psychiatrics.
A 2005 study printed in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychology and the Law, found that between zero and 10 percent of sexual offenders who are surgically castrated repeat the crime.
Again, Tunji, a 21 year-old undergraduate of Victory Crest University, got attracted to Jane because he saw Jane on a revealing indoor outfit, which exposes her beautiful and irresistible laps. This set his whole body on fire, and coupling with the fact that Jane’s chest touched his body while playing Ludo game.
This, of course, resulted in, perhaps, over secretion of male hormone, and his body started vibrating and shivering like a drop of blood on a leaf, which made him to leave for his house the moment his body became a total stranger to him.
According to Tunji, he desired Jane from that moment and was willing to have her at all cost and consequently, he raped Jane to death and even continued the action with Jane’s lifeless body.
Hear the rest of Tunji’s confession: “That day in her house, she was wearing one black bum shots. It revealed her very fair skin on her laps. And as we were playing, she bent over my body to collect her phone from Sola and her chest rested on me.
“At that moment, I didn’t know what happened to me again and I started imagining some weird things. I quickly got up and told them that I was leaving and I left. When I got home, I couldn’t get her off my mind and I desired to have her by all means.
“On that fateful day, when my parents had gone to work in the morning, I told my siblings that I wanted to pick some stuffs from the mall and left the house. I went straight to Jane’s house
“Meanwhile, I called her and told her that I wanted to know how she was doing and if she was missing her brother. It was then she told me that she was alone and would not mind if I paid her a visit. So, I accepted the invitation and went.
“I didn’t mean to kill her. I only wanted to have fun with her. But she died while I was making love to her, though I was also suffocating her with a pillow. When she died, I took a second round on her lifeless body and ran away.”
However, against, the claim that he didn’t want to kill him, rather to have fun, the CCTV footage showed that he prepared from home to kill her as he visited with a sniper. After Jane died, he tried to force the liquid down her throat to cover up that she committed suicide.
In another development, Sunday Telegraph discovered that Jane wasn’t the only young girl Tunji had raped and murdered as he had killed his course mate in the university during his gang’s robbery spree.
Tunji, who was supposed to be a final year student of Victory Crest University, said he was sent out of school three months ago when he got involved in a cult related activity.
He continued: “I was introduced into gang-raping of girls by members of my cult, which I joined in the school. They also taught me that the best way to avoid being caught is to eliminate the victim after using her.
“I can’t count the number of girls I have raped from my second year in the university when I joined the cult, but this is the second girl to die in my hands.
“We raided the girls’ hostel and her room happened to be one of the rooms assigned to me. We were meant to collect their hand sets and other valuables. But when I got to their room, her room mates were not there so I decided to rape her.
“While raping her, she called out my name, so I decided to kill her in order to cover my tracks. My parents got to know when they were invited to the school because of the last incident that involved the daughter of the deans of students’ affairs.”
For a 39 year-old Joseph Peters, who raped a girl of 11 years, raping a girl of 11 years old is for him is to get his body back and perhaps, doesn’t know what he was doing.
He said: “I knew the girl is an underage but I decided to do it in order to get my body back.”
For Lekan Osonogo, rape is being used as a punishment to a girl whom he spent fortune on but turned down his advances. He felt the only way to extract his pound of flesh is by forcing himself on her.
He said: “I have been spending on Jessica A. and she has been giving me hope that she will date me. All of sudden, she turned to another guy and expect me to be happy. I tried to get her attention but she wouldn’t look in my direction.
“So, one day, I arranged with another girl and lured her into my house. The girl left two of us and we tried to talk but she wouldn’t listen. So, I did it by force because she can’t just eat from me and dump me.”
For a Unilag student, Tobi O., rape was used as a vengeance. Eighteen and 19 years old Mercy and Chioma were raped because their course mate felt that all of them should be deflowered in order for her to get her peace back.
Tobi, a sophomore at Unilag, has always been mocked by her roommates, Mercy and Chioma for not being a virgin anymore. Both Mercy and Chioma were boastful of their chastity as virgins but one day, Tobi got an idea from a friend to get them deflowered so they could be calm.
Tobi bought this devilish idea and got some boys to do the job. She drugged them by putting some substance in the Chivita that she served to them. When they lost their consciousness, the boys came in and raped them. Now she’s sure that they won’t laugh at her again.
Some of these are what go on in the mind of people perpetuating these heinous crimes, including others that are under influence of substance addiction and others with mental illness.
More so, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, said some people engaged in rape for ritual purposes, especially incest. He urged Nigerians to always report rape cases in order to ensure victims get justice.
A psychiatric nurse, Joy Ibegbunam said some of the rape cases are as a result of mental disorder, saying some of people who indulge in rape have one mental issue or the other. To others, she continued, it’s a way of displaying strength and ego.
She said: “Also, alcoholism, substance addiction, and access to pornographic materials help to condition their mindset. Rape is a mindset; and sometimes, forces stronger than the person compel him to commit rape.
“This is mainly when you regard rape as a violent crime, which is hereditary in most cases. Some of them don’t know when they commit rape and this is important to know how to punish these set of people.”
Thus, the rising cases of rape and rape-related murder in the country have reached unprecedented height and have necessitated comments and urgent solution to the menace.
Just in five months, the country has witnessed over 717 reported rape cases. Some of these rapes resulted in the death of the victims. Sadly, a few number of them, who died at the spot, also had the rapists continued on their lifeless bodies.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, described rape as a very wicked and serious offence, saying it is very wicked for an individual to engage in rape or defilement.
He said out of 717 reported cases, about 799 suspects were so far arrested with 631 of them conclusively investigated and charged to court while about 52 cases are still under investigation, saying that some people engaged in rape for ritual purposes, urging Nigerians to always report rape cases.
Also, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was upset at recent incidents of rape, especially of very young girls, has endorsed action plans drafted by the Ministry of Women Affairs to tackle the increasing rape of girls and women across the country.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, said stigma of rape lasts longer than imagined and called for the domestication of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act 2015 in states to ensure rapists face deserved punishments for their actions.
Also, the Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers had called on government at all levels to apply a stiffer penalty for perpetrators of rape and other gender-based violence.
In the same manner, Nigerian senators believe that death penalty will go a long way in discouraging rape crimes, demanding that convicted rapists be punished with death penalty to address the cases of rape, gaining steam in the country.
Sen. Rose Okoh, representing Cross River North under Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) moved the motion for lawmakers to review existing laws that’ll discourage rape crimes, saying that increase in the rape of women and minors must not be allowed.
An APC Senator, representing Lagos Central, Oluremi Tinubu said: “Children are the most vulnerable group. Whoever is involved in acts like this should face death. I think rape of a minor deserves a death sentence. This is what we need to do to stop this madness,” she said.
A behavioural expert and teen counselor, Dr. Ngozi Okafor said: “There are a lot of reasons rapists are everywhere. Some it for ritual purposes, especially incest, others do it because they are within the family where the action takes place and desired it.
“I will call on every Nigerian that comes across any victim of sexual offences, rape, or gender-based violence to quickly report to law enforcement agents because keeping it without reporting will give room for the perpetrators to continue to commit the offences.
“Some of them have been abused in the past and didn’t get any form of psychological or psychiatric treatment and grew up with the idea of raping others. It has been discovered that the rapists do not kill for fun of it rather they kill to cover their actions because their victims know them.”
Reacting to the increasing cases of rape in the country, the Director General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Mrs. Julie Okah-Donli, said sex offender register has been opened in the agency, where the names of rape perpetrators were documented for further actions.
Okah-Donli, who tasked Nigerians to report both the old and new cases of rape to the agency, said: “Our job in NAPTIP is to protect Nigerian men and women; we are not going to compromise our work if they report such case, we will ensure justice is served.
“Rape cases are not reported because of stigmatisation of the victims and this makes the cases to rise. Very soon, the name of rapists will be published with their pictures in the media,” she said.
According to her, reporting the case of rape is the only way the trend can be stopped in the society; the agency will not compromise its work for anything if such case is reported to it.
As a solution in addition to what had been proffered, Sunday Telegraph observes that increasing awareness on the dangers of harmful traditions, tackling violence against girls in school and challenging as well as speaking out about violence in the home will transform attitudes towards harmful practices at multiple levels.
Other solutions include listening to girls’ experiences of violence, helping girls’ journeys to school safer, connecting specialists and at-risk communities, engaging respected community elders in the fight against violence as well as mobilising youth to fight harmful practices such as child marriage.
Also, engage boys and young men to become agents of change; protect girls who face additional risks during emergencies, embolden girls to speak out, share vital information with the community, challenge rape culture, reach out to marginalised rural girls and take a stand against regressive forces.