Habeebulah Abdulrahman, an Islamic cleric, has been accused of raping a 16-year-old girl from Osun State twice.
He, however, denied the accusation levelled by the girl’s family, insisting that she is his wife.
The alleged crime was said to have happened in April 2018, when Abdulrahman took the minor girl alongside two male students for an Islamic lecture in Ilaro, Ogun State, Premium Times reports.
According to the teenager, Abdulrahman raped her at the hotel they both lodged in in Ogun State.
She narrated that the Islamic scholar insisted on her staying in his room despite booking separate rooms for the male students.
She disclosed that despite several attempts to rebuff his sexual advances, including an intervention from the hotel receptionist, her teacher allegedly forced himself on her that particular night.
Speaking further, the teenager said the scholar allegedly raped her for the second time in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, while he was visiting his relatives.
She stated that the purported incident was witnessed by the two male students and Abdulrahman’s relatives.
She said: “Before I knew what was happening, the whole house was empty and he told me not to attempt running away because everywhere had been locked.
“The bed was stained after he had his way and he instructed me to go and wash his singlet that was also stained.”
The purported victim explained that the incident allegedly occurred after she rejected the marriage proposal made by the scholar, just four days after she began attending his classes.
She said: “Barely four days after I joined the Islamic school, he asked me to marry him but I said my studies will be affected and that he is too old for me even if I want to marry anyone at all.
“There was a day he came to my house and because no one was at home he entered my room while I was trying to undress. He told me we should make use of the opportunity but I refused.
“Even when he told me he would be coming to my house to ask for my hand in marriage, I refused immediately.”
Expressing her thoughts about the reported incident, Mrs Ibrahim, mother of the teenager, said Abdulrahman’s sudden care for her daughter’s welfare made her believe that he was really concerned about her progress and that of her family.
Mrs Ibrahim said: “When he learnt the girl has a boyfriend, he was furious and we all thought he was concerned for a good cause.
“When he started giving gifts, I also asked him and he said he was doing it to help a fatherless girl. Even when he said he wanted to marry the girl, the only grouse we had against him was that the girl objected to the marriage.”
The mother expressed regrets about the purported incident, saying Abdulrahman would surely be punished one day.
She said: “He felt he could step on our rights because he is influential and we are nobody, but my God will judge him and his family.”
Confronted with the accusation of the minor’s family, Abdulrahman said the girl was his lawful wife and he, therefore, had the right to engage in sexual activity with her.
He stated that he married the teenager a day before they embarked on the journey to Ogun State.
He said: “She is my wife and not an ordinary student. She misbehaved and I told the family that I was no more interested in her. The family want to coerce me to marry her. What she did, I don’t think anyone can accept that. She went to another man’s house for two days.”
“After 15 days, I saw those pictures. I went to the family and her mom and showed them that picture. It was then that I declared that I am no more interested in her. Since then, they have been peddling lies for me to marry her.”
Pressed to provide evidence of the marriage, the scholar said the Aqd Nikkah’ (contract of marriage) was done at the house of Abanikanda Kehinde, one of the girl’s relatives, adding that it was witnessed by Monsur, one of the teenager’s brothers, another brother of hers and Abu Husaynah, a friend of his who he brought as a witness.
While Abu Husaynah confirmed that the marriage indeed occurred, the girl’s brothers denied ever witnessing such an event, the online newspaper reports.
The case is currently being investigated by the Family Unit of the Osun State Police Command.