The shocking story has been told of how a 19-year-old girl called Jane (not real name) was s*xually exploited for six years in the hands of Sunday Efoghe, 34, in Edo State. It was learnt that she met Efoghe while in Junior Secondary School III (JSS3), at the age of 14, in 2018, and he took advantage of her innocence in the guise of helping her with school assignments. Efoghe was arrested by the Edo Zonal Command of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) for s*xtortion after a cousin of the victim reported her ordeal to NAPTIP.
Narrating her ordeal, Jane said her ordeal started in 2018 when she was in JSS III at the age of 14. She said “Sunday Efoghe who is now married with a son started getting close to me as he was helping me with my studies most times. “I felt I could trust, talk to him and I confided in him about everything, I used to go to his house for assistance with my assignments.”
She said when she was preparing for JSS III examination, Efoghe asked her to be his girlfriend, adding “I didn’t know what being someone’s girlfriend or being in a relationship meant or that it even meant having s*x, so I agreed.
“Not long after I agreed, he started touching me and asking me for s*x which I refused but he convinced me that it was nice, sweet and that I would enjoy it, so l agreed.“After having s*x with me, I was bleeding, he gave me paracetamol and warned me to keep it to myself and not tell my parents. That was how he took my virginity.”
She said after the first time, Efoghe started to have s*x with her regularly and taught her different s*x styles. She said they were not doing any other thing in the relationship other than s*x, adding that he got her pregnant when she was in SS I. “When I told him about how I was feeling, he asked his fiancée now his wife to take me to the hospital where I discovered I was pregnant and he asked me to abort the pregnancy, the wife took me to the place where I did abortion,” she said.
She got pregnant again for Efoghe when she was in SSS III and it was aborted like the first. “This time, I was given an injection and I had to go through all those same pains again. It was at this time I was no longer happy about the relationship because all we did was s*x; it wasn’t how I thought the relationship would be. He didn’t even buy me anything, the only time he bought a phone for me was because he destroyed mine out of anger when l refused to obey his instruction,”she added.
She said whenever Efoghe beats her up, he would tell her mother that he is trying to discipline her because she is getting spoiled and “my mother didn’t suspect we were having an affair. But truthfully, it was because he was always jealous whenever he saw me talking with someone, especially a male.
“I couldn’t tell anybody, including my friends. He made me believe that people would blame me and I stayed in the relationship even when it was getting out of hand because I didn’t know what else to do.
“He had his wedding in November 2020 and on his wedding night, he slept with me in his hotel room secretly and his wife even came knocking in the morning but he pretended that he wasn’t in the room but we were both there on the bed.”
She said it was at that stage she decided to quit the relationship but Efoghe started blackmailing her, threatening to disclose he deflowered her and she was throwing herself at him. In 2021, Efoghe then forced her to take an oath never to leave him until she was 23. But when she later insisted on quitting the relationship, he started blackmailing her with Nood video and pictures of her.
“He said he would show them to my parents and also post them on the internet, making me believe that everyone would blame me for it. “His wife got pregnant in 2021, and I was going there to help her. He then asked me to tell my parents that I want to come and live with them so that I can be helping his wife, but the truth was that he wanted us to always be together so that he could be having his way with me anytime he wanted.
“At times, he would wake me up at night and tell me he wanted s*x, with his wife in the room, she was always sleeping on the floor and he would be on the bed with me, and each time I refused, he said he would tell her that I was the one making advances at him. “I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t talk to my friends or family about it. I was dying inside, and he was always forcing himself on me even in the kitchen and during my menstrual period.
“In 2022, I got pregnant again and he took me to the hospital to abort the three months old pregnancy but I was still having some pains, so they did a scan and discovered that the pregnancy was twins and that the drug only worked on one and they had to do a D&C to get rid of it.”
She said when she got admission into a higher institution, she decided to quit the relationship due to constant threat and abuse, adding that it was then she confided in her cousin. “He then sent my Nood videos on the internet and started threatening me and my cousin. I was going crazy and I couldn’t go anywhere because of the video, but with the help of my cousin I reported the matter to NAPTIP and he was arrested,” she said.
The commander, NAPTIP Benin Zonal office, Bar. Nduka Nwawenne, said the suspect was arrested for abusing a 14-year-old girl, using s*xual exploitation punishable under the NAPTIP law. “S*xtortion is a new trend of human trafficking currently ravaging the society. This trend is that Nood pictures of female victims are taken and sent to the internet for either materials or financial benefit or even for s*x. The pictures are used for blackmailing the victims and compelling them to do whatever the person wants their victims to do,” he said, stressing that the suspect took advantage of the girl in 2018 at the age of 14 on the guise of helping her with school assignments.
“They are neighbours and her mother has a container in the suspect’s compound where she sells provisions. The victim normally went there for him to assist her with her assignments and he took advantage of that and turned her into a s*x slave,” he added.
He said in order to have full control of the victim, he compelled her to take a blood oath, adding that when she was no longer interested, he posted the Nood videos of the victim he took during the exploitation into the internet.
“The suspect impregnated the girl three times and aborted them. He was using the girl as s*x object as he was making love to her anywhere, anytime and abandoning lectures for s*x on his demand,” he noted.
He said the agency led by Dr Fatima Wazir-Azi has condemned the new trend of s*xtortion and has zero tolerance for s*xtortion and abuse of young girls on the internet. “The DG advised young girls to speak up when they are affected as the agency is ready to punish anyone found guilty because the law is there,” he added. Meanwhile, the suspect has been remanded in correctional centre by a Benin High Court, pending the completion of investigation by NAPTIP as the case was adjourned to May 10.
By Bayo Nelson