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“My father used his manhood and finger to test if I was a virgin

Romanus Okoye
“My father used his manhood and finger to test if I was a
virgin.” That was the shocking statement by a 12-year-old
girl allegedly defiled by her father. She was speaking with a
forensic expert, Dr. Oyedeji Alagbe, a consultant with the
Mirabel Centre, LASUTH, Ikeja, who conducted a medical
examination on her.
The Mirabel Centre is an organisation that has for long
mounted a sustained campaign against sexual violence.
The organisation also counsels and rehabilitates victims,
while seeking justice for them, among other volunteer
The girl said that her 35-year-old father, Mr. Emmanuel
Idoko, a commercial motorcyclist, returned from work one
day and told her that people said she was no longer a
virgin and he needed to confirm the truth with his finger
and manhood.
The girl said she resisted him but he persisted and even
gave her drinks, which made her sleepy. It was while
dozing in class one day that her teacher noticed the
abnormal sleep and, after much persuasion, the minor
opened up to the teacher. A report was made at the Ketu
Police Station in Lagos, and the father was arrested.
Incest, the act of having sexual intimacy with blood
relatives, is considered a crime and attracts a 10 years’
imprisonment. Yet people engage in it for different reasons.
A 46-year-old fashion designer, Wale Akanusi, who
impregnated his daughter twice and aborted the
pregnancies, said, after the atrocities were discovered: “It
is not a new thing that a man had sex with his daughter. I
did that to appease the gods.
“You see, when her mother was six months pregnant, we
made love. She later told me that it was a taboo for a man
to sleep with a pregnant woman in her place. She said the
only remedy was for the man to be the first person to sleep
with the child.
“I went to fulfil the oath. That was why I took her to the
herbalist when she was pregnant, so as to appease the
gods of her mother’s land. You will not understand. It is
not a new thing that a man had sex with his daughter and
even if I am jailed at the end, I will surely come out after
serving my jail term.
“I initially did not want to do it. But, along the line, I
discovered that things were not going well with me
financially. And, when I made inquiries, I was made to
understand that I had to appease the gods of her mother’s
land, so that I would be able to make a success of my life.”
A 16-year-old girl that was allegedly impregnated by her
father also narrated how the randy man administered an
oath of secrecy on her before he deflowered her. She added
that the suspect, Sunday Olanrele, used payment of her
school fees as a bait to turn her to a sex object.
She said: “I thought he was a good father. He gave me
kolanut to eat and said I would die if I revealed the secret.
He started kissing and caressing me and later deflowered
me. When blood started gushing out from my private part,
he used diapers to cover it. I did not tell anyone because of
A few weeks later, the girl started showing symptoms of
“I took her to the hospital for pregnancy test and it
indicated that she was four months pregnant. I requested to
know who was responsible and she refused to tell me,” the
mother said.
She then took her to a pastor, where she opened up. The
angry mother said she was faced with the shame
associated with the stigma on the family: “I am confused. I
am ashamed of the stigma. The pregnancy is over five
months now. So, abortion is out of it. I am in a dilemma
now. I can’t procure abortion when she is already five
months gone.”
The suspect, who admitted committing the crime, said he
did not know what came over him that made him to
deflower his daughter.
“I think it is the Devil’s plan to destroy me. I know it is an
abominable act. I am sorry, I regret my action. Nigeria
Police Force and my estranged wife should forgive me,” he
Sometime in 2017, Adoka, a district in Otukpo, Benue State,
was thrown into confusion following the death of a young
man identified as Inalegwu. The deceased reportedly drank
a poisonous substance suspected to be insecticide after he
allegedly put his younger sister, Ene, in the family way.
“He was accused of impregnating his own blood sister.
People had been mocking him since the incident and he
had been crying,” a source said.
A child rights expert, Mrs. Kim Adeogun, once said that
most incest and child abuse cases were the aftermath of
absence of a bond between mothers and their daughters.
She added that families also contributed to it when they
covered up such cases without informing the authorities.
“I have seen a case of a senior nephew sleeping with his
younger cousin but, when the parents of the little girl
discovered it, they swiftly sent the man to his family and
the matter ended right there, to avoid family disunity,”
Adeogun said.
Sociologists have observed that, among human practices,
incest is the one most enveloped in myth and mystery.
Thus the incestuous father is generally described as a
degenerate, intellectually inferior individual, living in
poverty, or an alcoholic with a low standard of morals and
marked sexual pathology.
Incest is likewise described as occurring mainly in remote
rural areas, among backward, primitive people. Though it
has been recognised that statistics on incest are unreliable,
and the practice is more prevalent than would appear, from
police records, the feeling persists that incest is confined
to the most debased, perverted elements in society, or the
relics of more archaic, primitive modes of behaviour.
Dr. S.K. Weinberg, a sociologist, differentiates male incest
into three main types: one, an indiscriminate promiscuity,
where the incest is part of a pattern of sexual
psychopathology; two, intense craving for young children,
paedophilia, which also includes the daughter as a sexual
object; and, three, the endogamic or intra-familial-oriented
incest. An incestuous participant of this type is defined by
Weinberg as “the adult … who confines his sexual objects
to family members, resorts to incest with a daughter or
sister because he does not cultivate and does not crave
social or sexual contacts with women outside the family.”
Efforts to conceptualise incest before 1980 led to it being
described as a sub-category of paedophilia. Some
researchers believe that incest does not have a single
cause, rather, it develops from a combination of influences.
Researchers agree that perpetrators of incest are more
likely to be males than females, although a lot of evidence
has emerged since the 1980s that some mothers sexually
abuse their children. Fewer female offenders are willing to
admit to committing incest and society may consider
women to be sexually harmless. But it is important to
recognise the increased opportunity that women have to
perpetrate incest as primary caretakers of children.
Women in all societies are given a great deal of
responsibility of raising children. With that comes control
over their dependents. They are more often in charge of
many intimate activities surrounding the care of the child,
including things such as breastfeeding, putting to bed and
bathing. Some cultures, where mother-son closeness is
the norm, may have more occurrences of incest. For
example, it is said some Japanese mothers initiate sexual
acts with their sons after witnessing their sons masturbate
for the first time in order to teach him about sex.
An Australian study of a clinical sample of male incest
survivors found a number of factors most likely to influence
the occurrence of sexual abuse of young males. They
include living in a single-parent family headed by a woman
of low socio-economic status, where the mother suffers
from a schizophrenic illness and/or abuses drugs or
alcohol, and where there is a history of violent parental
behaviour. The study stated that women may commit incest
for different reasons more than males.
Gender expectations and socialisations may vary for males
and for female perpetrators, but this does not mean that
one form of incest is less harmful to the victim than the
other. Regardless of the type of perpetrator, incest
perpetrators commit the crime for a variety of reasons. They
often have poor skills in dealing with their emotions,
demonstrate poor empathy skills, and display a marked
inability to observe the behaviour of others. These
perpetrators are often emotionally in a developmental stage
equivalent to that of the child they are assaulting.
In a study of 75 male and 65 female sexual abuse
perpetrators, the men and women showed no difference in
educational levels, both reported their marriages as less
stable than their parents’, and both reported their need for
emotional fulfilment as being greater than their need for
sexual fulfilment. Both offenders reported the least
intrusive form of offending (exhibitionism, voyeurism,
touching) to be more frequent than oral, vaginal, or anal
Men as incest perpetrators are not a homogeneous group.
In a study funded by a grant from the National Centre on
Child Abuse and Neglect, researchers identified five distinct
types of incestuous fathers: sexually preoccupied,
adolescent regressive, instrumental sexual gratifiers,
emotionally dependent offenders, and angry retaliators
(Williams and Finkelhor 1992). This typology helps to foster
better understanding of the motivations for abuse and may
enable better treatment for incest perpetrators. It should be
kept in mind that an offender may not fit perfectly into one
type; most offenders are a combination of one or more
A group of genetic counsellors reviewed the research on
the biological consequences of sex between relatives. They
found a surprisingly small increase, about 4 per cent, in
birth defects among children of married cousins. Incest
between first degree relatives, however, was a different
story. The researchers examined four studies on the effects
of first degree incest on the health of the offspring. Forty
per cent of the children were born with autosomal
recessive disorders, congenital physical malformations, or
severe intellectual deficits. And another 14 per cent of them
had mild mental disabilities.
Hal Herzog, professor emeritus of psychology at Western
Carolina University, said there were odds that a newborn
child who is the product of brother-sister or fathered
aughter incest will suffer an early death, a severe birth
defect or some mental deficiency.

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