Updated: May 15
What do you think of Jummai's predicament?
As a child, Jummai would isolate herself, preferring to stay indoors away from friends and neighbours and weep profusely. She lost her mother at the tender age of 7 and lived alone with her father until he remarried. It was not long after the demise of her mother that the abuse began. At first, her father would touch her while giving her a bath, but that quickly turned into forcing himself onto little Jummai. He claimed that he was cleansing her of the demons within and threatened to beat her if she disclosed any information to anyone.
At age 14, Jummai was suffering from severe depression. She had come to understand that those were all lies told by her father and that it was in fact rape. However, the abuse did not stop; when her father sought pleasure from her, he would send away her stepmother and proceed to rape Jummai.
While at a neighbour’s house one day, the lady of the house found little Jummai in tears. After questioning Jummai, she uncovered the dark secret and immediately called for her husband. Together, the couple were able to help Jummai to narrate her story in a letter and took it to a famous lawyer, Barrister Audu Bulama Bukarti, who proceeded to hand the case over to Hotoro Women Development Association (HOWDA) and BAOBAB Kano State Outreach team. Jointly, they filed a report with the police and applied for temporary custody for Jummai and a change of school while the case was ongoing.
A survey conducted by NOIPolls in 2019, a public opinion polling institution, revealed that about 3 in 10 Nigerians (26%) know someone who has been raped in the past and the rape victims were particularly minors and young adults aged between 1 to 5 years (72%) and 16 to 25 years (24%), respectively.
Later, Jummai’s custody was transferred to her maternal grandmother before a magistrate court in Kano. The trial was held in arbitration and on his first appearance before the court, the 64 years old Malam Abubakar who was from Kogi state, but a Kano resident was found guilty of raping his biological daughter, Jummai, for nearly 7 years. He was served a sentence of 21 years in prison.
Now at the age of 19, Jummai is happily married and is finally ready to move on with her life.
*All names were changed to protect the identity of the parties involved! The perpetrator’s name was changed to protect the identity of the survivor.
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