A year under rapist’s rule: Kano community’s tale of woe

Posted by News Express | 13 June 2020 | 1,070 times

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Halima Sani (not real name), 95, was deep asleep when she was awoken by the sound of strange movement in her room.

Within a twinkle of an eye, the intruder grasped her neck, his elbows digging into her chest. Unknown to her, the intruder was both a thief and a rapist. As she struggled to free herself, he commanded her to give him money.

“The first thing I did when I heard the strange movement was to recite Inna lillahi wa’inna ilaihir raji’uun (Indeed, we are from Allah and to Him we shall certainly return),” Halima narrated.

“He then began hurling insults at me, saying that he will kill me. I said to him that my life is not in his hands, but in Allah’s. He continued to ask for money while his hands and elbows remained firmly on my neck and chest.

“I told him I didn’t have money and soon lost consciousness because I couldn’t withstand the struggle.

“I did not wake up until the following morning. As my neighbours didn’t see me for the early morning prayers, they checked my room and found me mutilated. I told them what happened to me.

“They were the ones who used hot water to treat my private part. I was damaged like a woman who just gave birth. Some of my ribs were dislocated.

“ Halima did not regain full consciousness for two weeks. It was discovered that blood had clot in her eyes, while her nose continuously bled during the two-week treatment, she said.

She said: “Up till now I have not fully recovered, weeks after the incident. “He entered my house the Thursday before curfew was declared in Kano State.

“We are grateful to Allah that this man was caught.

“Before this time, we were living in fear. “Women were really traumatised by the activities of this criminal, because nobody knew who the next victim would be.”

Aside married women, girls and children, even prostitutes were victims of the notorious rapist.

In a chat, some prostitutes expressed their happiness about his arrest and showered praises on vigilantes who arrested him.

One of them who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “Even if I am a commercial sex worker, I wouldn’t want anyone to rape me, because I don’t know the person’s identity.

“I was his victim. But even if I had said it, nobody would have taken me seriously because that is what I do for a living. We are happy because the town is free now. We can go about our normal trade.”

“Tradition and fear of stigma made most of the rapist’s victims remain quiet.

What he usually does,” one said, “was to strip himself naked at any available uncompleted building outside the town.

“He would move into the town naked. “One faithful day at about 1:30am, I saw him through my window. That is the only thing I can remember. The rest is history.”

The serial rapist, however, revealed how he operated. In an audio made available by the Kwanar Dangora vigilantes, he gave his name as Muhammadu Zhul-Falalu Alfa, an indigene of Kankia, Katsina State who moved to Kwanar Dangora in search of livelihood.

My father was born in Tofa, Kano State, but he relocated to Katsina. Business brought me to Kwanar Dangora and I also enrolled myself in a school. I trade in groundnuts. I was arrested when I came out at night to rape women.

“I was caught naked because I removed my clothes in Dantala’s house (Dantala is the owner of the house where the rapist went to rape his wife).

 “What I usually do is remove my clothes, because it makes it easier to rape without much stress. I was about to enter the house when somebody flashed me with a torchlight,” Alfa said.

Alfa, 32, said he could not count the number of houses he entered in Kwana Dangora, but put the number of his victims at not less than 40 women. He admitted that he raped the 95-year-old woman and also stole from his victims.”

Part of Kwanar Dangora weekly market yesterday Sani Sama’ila alias Sani Jos is the Secretary of Kwanar Dangora Vigilante Group and also doubles as the Public Relations Officer of the Community Policing Unit of the town.

He said the notorious rapist was caught by his team when they were on patrol at Anguwan Yelwa area of the town.

“He was arrested at Gidan Kwana after he entered Malam Hamza Mai Lemu’s house,” Sani Jos said. “I was leading the vigilante team when one of us saw him.

We chased him and were able to track him. The arrest was made at about 2am, and to assure residents that their nightmare had been captured, we tied him to a pole until the following morning for people to see him.

“He was later transferred to the Kano State Police Command’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) after we had taken him to our chief.

“The police commended our effort. Investigation is still on, but the major challenge is for the victims to come out in the open and testify.

However, the rapist has confessed to raping at least 40 women.” Sani Jos said Kwanar Dangora heaved a sigh of relief over the arrest of Alfa, the rapist. He was such a terror that women nicknamed him Mai Skirt (man with skirt).

“He told us that he was once married but divorced his wife. He has terrorised the community for a year and once entered my house, but before I could come out from my room, he scaled the fence. Despite the hot chase, I couldn’t catch him,” he said.

“We were however lucky to arrest him on Thursday, June 4, 2020. Our major concern was his health.

“We were concerned that if he happened to be a carrier of any transmittable disease, it meant he was spreading it to many innocent citizens who would not come out to reveal that they were raped.

 “We are appealing to our people to come out and narrate their experiences in order to help curtail the menace. Doing this would assist the prosecution of the culprits.”

 The Traditional Chief of Kwanar Dangora, Alhaji Ahmadu Ya’u, expressed his appreciation to the vigilantes for the arrest, saying that they would encourage victims to cooperate with the police in order to have evidence and hence witnesses for the prosecution of Alfa.

Kano State’s Police Command spokesperson confirmed that after investigation, the suspect would be taken to court for prosecution.

 In a related incident, in a small settlement called Ma’ai, few kilometres north of Dutse, Jigawa State capital, a 12-year-old girl was allegedly serially raped by 12 persons at different times.

This revelation came on Monday, May 30, 2020 when one of the suspects, Alhaji Muhammad Zuwai, was apprehended by some good Samaritans at Limawa market after he was said to have raped the girl.

Confirming the development, the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Abdul Jinjiri, said the suspects raped the minor at different occasions. Preliminary investigations indicated that the suspects lured the girl with money between N20 and N50 whenever they intended to have sex with her.

During the course of investigation, the statement of the victim led to the arrest of the 11 other suspects who are currently facing trial.

Jinjiri said: “Zuwai was handed over to the police togethr with the girl and in the course of investigation the girl confessed to have had sexual intercourse with 11 others apart from Zuwai.

Her mother, Raliya Ibrahim, said the girl was in a stable condition as she was under medication.

“She was taken to the hospital when the incident happened, was given drugs and also sits in warm water as well,” Raliya explained.

“She was examined to see whether she was carrying any ailment or pregnancy, but the results all came out negative.”

whether, as a mother, Raliya had noticed any questionable behaviour from her daughter throughout the period in which the incident has been taking place, she said there was no sign that her daughter was subjected to any such act, but advised parents to be very observant of their children’s movements.

When asked what kind of punishment should be given to the suspected perpetrators of the act if found guilty, Raliya said, “Nothing. We have forgiven them. We don’t want any punishment for them. We leave everything to Allah.”

Some residents of Ma’ai shared their view on the incident and the persons involved. A resident who didn’t want his name mentioned, said, “among the persons she mentioned, there is a boy of not more than 13 years, two others of 16 and 17, and then one is about 25 years, all of whom are not married. The rest of them are married men, most of whom have wives and children. Even the last man who was caught on the Limawa market day has two wives and about nine children.”

The source added that most of them were farmers by occupation, with one a firewood seller and another who installs satellite receivers as a means of livelihood.

 “From what we heard, the incident has been taking place for the last three years, so the girl was used to it and we don’t know whether her parents were aware and decided to let it be or not,” he said.

Another resident, Ma’aruf A. Mansur, said residents of Ma’ai were still in shock over the incident. “None of those arrested has a bad record of either adultery or any other form of crime.

“So, we believe it’s not true and consider this as a trial from God, and we are with them in our prayers that the truth shall prevail and they will be free at last,” he said.

In his opinion, Malam Auwalu Abdu, said “Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un! This is an incident that involved innocent people and we are very disturbed that it is happening this way. But we thank God that whatever happened, authorities handling the matter are upright enough to do what is right.

“We know it is something that has to go through different stages and we are confident that at the end, they will do the needful to ensure that all the innocent ones are free and the culprit, if any at all, will be punished.

“Our major concern is the number of people implicated in the case, which surprised everyone. We are sure that it was done out of enmity and hatred against most or all of them, and by the grace of God, the truth shall prevail at last,’ he said.

However, there were reports that the residents of Ma’ai were doing all they could to resolve the problem out of court through their traditional rulers.

When contacted, the District Head of Dutse, Alhaji Jamilu Basiru Sanusi, Turakin Dutse, confirmed the development, but said the issue could not be resolved without letting the law take its course.

“It is both against our religion and the laws of the land, so as leaders, we cannot let it go like that. It has to be thoroughly investigated and the culprits will be punished according to the law, so that it will serve as deterrent to others.

“We asked them to report to the police and then we informed the state headquarters of the police which eventually took over the case. I have also warned the ward and village heads not to interfere in the case and allow the investigators do their work, since it is a criminal case and not just a civil issue that we can mediate in,” he said.

A public commentator in Jigawa State, Hon. Yusuf Maigari, linked the rising cases of rape to a number of factors, which included what he called the psychological perception of potential rapists, opportunities given to rapists and congestion, among others.

“This psychological perception, which you could call a kinky sexual behaviour, could be sociopathic or psychopathic as the rapist could kill in certain circumstances.

“The opportunity has to do, sometimes, with the negligence of the wards or parents of the victims, when the victim goes carelessly close to the rapist who is looking for an opportunity.

“In terms of congestion, this could happen when people are congested, say for instance in a refugee camp. There is the tendency for incest or rape cases to occur,” he said. With regards to the peculiarities of Jigawa State in the incident, Hon. Maigari said it has to do with poverty and unemployment among youth.

“An idle mind breeds anti-social behaviour. So if young people are not having enough to get married and be able to satisfy their urges, then there is tendency for rape to occur.

Parents also abandon their children without adequate care. Peer influence alone could do a great deal of harm in that case. So parents must be extra watchful of their wards,” he added and suggested that punishments for rape must be commensurate with the level of crime committed.    (Daily Trust)





Source: News Express

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