A prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of Adegboyega Adenekan, a supervisor at Chrisland Schools, on Monday gave graphic details of how the suspect allegedly raped a two-year-11-month old pupil of the school.
Olive Ogedengbe, a clinical psychologist with Friedlich Consulting, narrated the outcome of her psychological evaluation sessions with the victim and her mother.
Mr. Adegboyega, 47, was arraigned on January 29 before Sybil Nwaka of the Ikeja Division of the Lagos State High Court. He pleaded not guilty to a charge of defilement of a child.
“I’m here in respect of a child (name withheld) referred to me on account of sexual abuse – she was two years and 11 months old at the time, sometime in November 2016 – by the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team,” Ms. Ogedengbe, the prosecution’s second witness, began during her testimony.
“The mother walked into our office alongside her daughter. She was looking very depressed and unkempt and handed a referral letter over. I read the letter and the mother narrated her side of the story.
“She said that somebody in her church handed her a book on sexual education on children. She read it and decided to practice it on her child saying little did she know that her child had already been defiled. She said she took her child to the toilet and told her not to allow anybody touch her ‘wee wee’ and the child told her that Mr. Adenekan touches her ‘wee wee’.
“The mother said she was shocked and is yet to get over it as at that moment. She further said that the child opened up to her that Mr. Adenekan usually takes her out of class and shows her some videos that were sexually stimulating. She pleaded with us to help correct her child’s psyche.”
The witness said after giving a session on human psychological groupings and the effects sexual abuse can have on the psychology of a child, she discovered that the victim’s intellectual capability was highly above average.
“She is more mentally matured than her physical age so I decided to carry out an independent psychological evaluation.
“We started an initial rapport with the child to gain her trust and when her trust was gained, I asked the child ‘who touches your wee wee’ and the child repeated it on several occasions that Mr. Adenekan. I was shocked because I didn’t expect it from a child her age. I brought out my assessment sheet and I told the child to draw anybody that comes to her mind and she restlessly started jumping around saying ‘Mr. Adenekan is on my mind’ and she continued talking without yet drawing and she said Mr. Adenekan said it is good for a child to put her wee wee in Mr Adenekan wee wee. I was startled and at that point, I decided to do a recording to ensure that her story is consistent.”
“We told her to draw Mr. Adenekan wee wee and she demonstrated playfully by pointing her fingers to the upward stating ‘sharpener sharpener’ so we said sharpener or pencil and she said sharpener. So we said draw it, we want to see how it looks like and to my greatest shock, a two year old child drew a picture that resembles the reproductive organ of a man in form of a penis. I now asked her to show me her wee wee and she pointe to her private part, I asked her to show me where Mr. Adenekan wee wee is and she pointed to her down part.”
“She was already restless and we wanted to hear more but she ran to her mother in a corner of the room and the mother continued probing her. She asked if she was the only one and she said he takes she and her friend (name withheld ) out of the class. We asked her to show us what Mr. Adenekan does to her friend, she said ‘he kiss her bum bum’ and she demonstrated using a puppet.”
Ms. Ogedengbe said findings from her observations, interviews and psychological assessments in the form of the drawing identified some symptoms in the child such as aggressive behaviour without provocation, inappropriate sexual behaviour like always wanting to view others naked bodies, sleeping problems, and fear.
The psychologist added that they were consistent with psychological research on symptoms of child sexual abuse.
“After interactions, we realised that the child and the mother needed help, that is psychological intervention because the mother exhibited signs of post-traumatic stress disorder and we decided to do an intervention for the mother. We held two more sessions for the mother for psycho-social intervention and the mother was counselled on how to help and assist the child. I generated a report and forwarded it alongside with the CD (compact disc) to the coordinator of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team.”
The prosecuting counsel, Jide Boye, prayed that he be allowed to play the video that was tendered in court as an evidence.
In the video, the child was seen making several sexual gesticulations while answering questions posed to her.
When asked what Mr. Adenekan does with her friend, she replied, “Mr. Adenekan say ‘your bum bum is sweet, I will lick your bum bum.’
“Answering questions on the representation of what she drew, she said ‘that is his hand he used to put in my wee wee.’ She also replied yes when asked if Mr. Adenekan put his wee wee in her wee wee.”
During cross-examination, the defence counsel, Olatunde Adejugbe, asked the witness if there was a way of knowing whether the drawing that is claimed to be Mr. Adenekan’s manhood is actually his.
“In psychological evaluations, we make use of projectile drawing where the client uses drawing to express what is on their mind. I agree I can’t compare but the drawing took the place of a penis,” Ms. Ogedengbe said.
When asked what efforts she made to contact the victim’s friend mentioned in her narration, the witness said, “we found out about the mother and contacted her but because of the stigma she said she didn’t want to be involved so we couldn’t confirm.”
Asked what she meant by the child’s intellect being “far above average,” Ms. Ogedengbe said, “for children between 0-5years, their language ability is usually incoherent but this child was able to make meaningful words. Also, for a child that age, when you give them paper to draw, they only make meaningless lines but she could make meaningful drawings.”
When asked if she is aware a child could repeat what has been repeatedly recited to her, she agreed to its possibility.
During re-examination of the witness, Mr. Boye asked if the child’s response could have led her to conclude that she was merely reciting what she was told, Ms. Ogedengbe said, “what I perceieved for this child is that if she had been tutored, she would miss her lines and you will see it in her non-verbal behaviour because she won’t be bold to repeat it to a stranger consistently but in her case her answers were consistent all through so, in this case, I believe the child has not been tutored.”
The case was adjourned to March 21 for the continuation of trial.
The prosecution called their first witness, an ex-social worker, to testify on February 6.
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