Ten days before her 17th birthday, Favour Okor was allegedly raped, battered and slammed against the edge of a deep gutter by 28-year-old Robinson Godday in Agbara, Ogun State on April 22, 2020. Favour is currently fighting for her life at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos after suffering traumatic spinal cord injury. Her aunt, Mary Bassey, tells GBENRO ADEOYE how she couldn’t stop crying when she saw her niece
Your 17-year-old niece, Favour, was allegedly raped and battered by a suspected rapist and she is fighting for her life, how did it happen?
She was missing for two days and when she was found, she said Robinson Godday did that to her. There was a time they said the guy raped her but I didn’t know about it then. But for this last incident, it happened while she was returning from work early in the morning. She was on the night shift and was supposed to return home by 7am the following morning but she did not come back. We called their company and some of them who were on the same shift with her and we were told that all of them had left. We waited till 12 noon and then till nighttime but still did not see her.
On the third day, someone ran home to say they found a girl in a deep gutter and that she was attacked by a guy who raped her and pushed her inside. We (some of my neighbours and I) ran there. When we got there, some people had already brought her out of the gutter and put her on the road. I went to report to the police and they followed me there. She could talk at that time but was paralysed; she could not feel anything or move any part of her body.
We took her to hospital and after five days, the doctor referred us to National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos but because we didn’t have enough money to take her there, someone directed us to the Ogun State Commissioner for Women Affairs (Mrs Funmi Efuwape) and the woman said we should bring her to a hospital in Sango-Ota. We spent about five days there and her condition did not improve. Then they referred us to the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta but when we got there, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they said they were not working. So, we were put in another public hospital in Abeokuta. She could talk when we were at Sango-Ota but immediately we entered that hospital, she stopped talking.
Can she talk now?
No, she is still unable to talk. We spent about two weeks at FMC, Abeokuta before the Ogun State Government brought us to NOH, Igbobi. The state government has been taking care of all the bills except for my feeding and the drugs they don’t have in the hospital which I have to buy from pharmacies outside with my money.
Does Favour live with you?
She doesn’t live with me. It was when the incident happened that I got to know about it. I didn’t know that she was in Ogun here.
What happened to her parents?
Her mother died in 2007 and in February 2020, her father also died. I don’t know what happened to them. We were supposed to go for his burial in April but the lockdown affected it. So, her father is still in the mortuary. She was almost killed a few days to her 17th birthday – May 2, 2020.
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How did you feel when you saw the man who allegedly raped and almost killed your niece at the police station?
Yes, they arrested him and he is at Eleweran Police Headquarters. Initially, he denied it but he left his sandals in the gutter and wore Favour’s sandals so they asked me questions about that and he confessed.
What is Favour’s condition now?
Now, she can feel the prick of the needle on some parts of her body unlike before when she could not feel anything.
What about her legs?
The problem is that she cannot move her legs but if you touch her, she will know.
What kind of help does she need now?
When they asked me to donate blood, I said I didn’t have anybody here. All her siblings are in the village in Akwa Ibom and have been unable to come because of the ban on interstate movements. Some people donated blood but it was not enough. I have been receiving calls that some more people are coming to donate blood to her.
Before she stopped talking, what did she tell you?
When we got to the last hospital we took her to in Abeokuta, when they wanted to put her on a drip, she said we should not put her there. We begged her to calm down but she said no; she said the place didn’t look like a proper hospital and that it looked like an herbalist’s place. She asked where they were taking her blood to. She kept repeating, ‘Blood of Jesus,’ until she lost her voice soon afterwards. Her jaws were locked and her mouth is only able to open a little now. She is being fed through a tube inserted into her nose (Nasogastric tube feeding).
What kind of person is Favour?
She is a very nice girl and many people in the area like her because she is very respectful. So many people in her area feel very bad about what happened to her.
Who took care of her when her mother died?
She has two brothers and three sisters. They are all in Akwa Ibom. It was her elder sister that took care of her before she came to Ogun. She was in the village in Akwa Ibom State. Her sister told me somebody brought her here and that when the person sent her back home, she came back on her own to come and work. She has been living with the sister of the guy (Robinson) she said did this to her. The guy saw her each time he visited his sister. According to her, the first incident happened when the sister of the guy went out and she was left alone at home. The guy raped her and left bite marks on her breasts. The people in the compound heard her screaming and involved the police. They got the guy arrested. He was soon released by the police and that was why he came back to do this to her. She and the girl she stays with work in the same place at OPIC Estate, Agbara.
What punishment do you think the person who did this to her deserves?
If we were living in a busy area, I don’t think the guy would be alive because people would have killed him before the police would hear about it.
How did you feel when you first sighted her?
I was crying and couldn’t stop crying. I didn’t think she would even be alive till now. She looked very terrible when I saw her. It was really bad