The 18-year-old girl simply identified as Chidinma ran away from home in Enugu, was arrested in Lagos after being impregnated by her boyfriend. The secondary school student was said to have eloped from her parents’ home in Enugu state about four months ago, only to be found pregnant when police officers accosted her. She had been declared wanted by her parents and after a frantic search for about 16 weeks, the Festac Town police officers nabbed her at the Amuwo-Odofin branch of Diamond bank, where she had reportedly gone to cash some money, on February 12, 2016. After the arrest, it was gathered that she had been living with Idris Umar, a 21-year-old aspiring musician and hair stylist.
While the police officers were about taking the man to court on charges of abduction and rape, the teenager came out to defend him, saying that they had consensual intercourse and that he neither raped nor abducted her. She said: “Idris did not abduct me and did not rape me either. I love him. He asked me my age. I didn’t want to tell him my real age because if I did, he would see me as a little girl. I told him I was 21. “I ran away from home out of frustration. I ran away from home last year. I was 17. I was in Senior Secondary Class (SS2). I don’t know why the police arrested Idris. He hadn’t done anything wrong. “He didn’t rape me. I gave myself to him. I knew what I was doing. He didn’t force or took advantage of me. In fact, he assisted me.” The young man who was looking rather undisturbed by the whole case, said he would marry the student irrespective of what was being done to prosecute him. “I love Chidinma and I don’t want to look elsewhere. She’s my first love and lover. I love her. Yes, I’m ready for marriage. I’m soon going into the music industry; I don’t want women to start chasing and disturbing me after I have made it in music. “That’s why I want to marry early. If I get into music now, everyone will love me. I wouldn’t know which one has genuine love for me. So, I need to marry now. And Chidinma is my first love. I can’t deny her. I’ll marry her,” he narrated.
Recalling the circumstance that led to her leaving the house, second child of five, noted that, “We were on the dining table when my younger sister said I should get up that she wanted to sit where I was sitting, I didn’t answer her. She went to sit in another seat. She started insulting me.
“I had water in my mouth; I spat the water on her. She took hot tea and poured it in my ear. I became angry. I took hot water from the flask and poured her. My father came out. He didn’t ask what happened. “He ordered me to kneel down. I tried to explain, but he refused to listen. He went into the room, came out with a mop and used the stick part to start hitting me. I told them that I would leave the house. “He said I should go, after all there was nothing they were doing with me.
That wasn’t the first time I had threatened to leave the house. Whenever I threatened them, they would ask me to go. “They would say I’m not useful to them. That night, I packed my bag and left the house. I took bus and went to Lagos, from Enugu. “We landed in Lagos around 10pm. The bus stopped us at Mazamaza, which was the last bus stop. I had N50,000 with me. I did concert for a company and they paid me. I lodged in a hotel. “The next day, I started looking for clues, to know if I could locate where my aunt stays. I stayed in that hotel for a week and two days. It was within that one week that I met Umar. I met him in the saloon where I used to go to fix my nails. We started chatting and became friends and soon fell in love. A few days after, I moved into Umar’s apartment.” On his part, Umar said he never thought of asking Chidinma where her parents were and incidents that led to her leaving the house because she was always averse to him discussing such topics. And because he did not want to hurt her feelings, Umar said he allowed her be.
Although she told him about her stay with her family in FESTAC area of Lagos. He noted that, “I thought she was staying with her uncle. Whenever I pressed her, she would tell me to leave the matter alone. She told me she was 21. “We started living together in November. In December, I saw a message in her email; I realized she was having issues with her mom. She now told me everything. I was the one that told her to start picking her mom’s call. “I got to know she was pregnant. I said I would take her to her parents and introduce myself. We agreed to raise money, so that we could go to her parents. I could have called her mom, but I didn’t want to hurt her. She wouldn’t like it if I called her mum.” Chidinma explained as well that she did not tell Idris the story of how she ran away from home because she did not want him to know. In her confession, Chidinma said that she lied to him that I she did not have anywhere and he asked her to stay with him then but when he read her e-mails he saw messages from her mother. “When he saw the messages, he started asking questions. By then, my mom had already started calling, begging me to return home. I could have gone back home, but my dad, who hit me with the mop stick, didn’t even call. “That was why I refused to go back home. He didn’t even call to ask how I was. He didn’t care. I stiffened my heart. I refused to go home.
I started planning to get a job in Lagos. “Yes, I used to sleep with Idris, but not always. When I discovered I was pregnant, I told Idris. He said I shouldn’t worry, that he wasn’t going to deny the pregnancy. “We began planning our marriage in earnest. Idris said he needed to save some money, in order to follow me to see her parents for proper introductions and preparation for the marriage rites. He even took her to Kogi State, to meet his family. “The police took me to Festac Police Station. They gave me a phone to call my mom. My mom didn’t send any money. She tricked me. She wanted me to go to the bank, so that police would arrest me. They asked me who I was staying me; in order not to create more trouble for myself, I mentioned Idris. I’m in love with Idris. Love is a strong feeling that binds people together. “I have strong feelings for Idris. He didn’t treat me bad. He took me to his house, fed and bought clothes for me. I don’t see my sleeping with him as paying him. I’m ready to marry him. I don’t think my parents will say no to our marriage. “To me, Idris didn’t do anything wrong. If he was using me, he wouldn’t have taken me to his family. He’s not my first lover. I knew what I was doing when I accepted his advances,” she explained.