A 17-year-old housemaid, Rhoda, who accused her Lebanese boss, a chef with a prominent Lagos hotel, Hassan Ali Husseini, of raping her while working for him, has put to bed.
The teenager, who is in custody of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, reportedly put to bed in a hospital at the Police College, Ikeja.
A source at the agency told our correspondent that the baby, a girl, has the features that make it incontrovertible that the child was fathered by Husseini.
It will be recalled that Husseini had denied that the he raped Rhoda, but that the sexual contact they had was consensual.
Saturday PUNCH had previously reported NAPTIP Zonal Commander, Mr. Joseph Famakin, as saying that Husseini offered to accept the paternity of the child if it resembled him, saying he would accept it happily as “a gift from God.”
He had said at the time that it was not the place of NAPTIP to prosecute the accused of rape but the duty of the police.
The NAPTIP boss had also hinted at the possibility of a DNA test being conducted.
“We have called both parties and the Lebanese man has agreed to take care of her until she puts to bed. He said if the child is black, he would do a DNA test before he accepts the child but if the baby is white, he would thank God for giving him a miracle,” Famakin had said when he was contacted in April.
When he was contacted about what would now happen to the girl and her child now, he said the case was awaiting the advice of the agency’s legal department on the next couse of action.
Famakin said his officials had visited the girl’s hometown in Kogi State to make some findings about her age and the circumstance under which she came to Lagos.
He said, “It is clear it is not a case of trafficking. But the girl’s brother, who brought her to the Lebanese man is in the best position to clarify what the arrangement was. But he has so far stayed in hiding.
“The Lebanese man too has taken responsibility for the child and the mother even though the mother and child are still in our custody. Until a DNA test is conducted, we would not be able to say with 100 per cent certainty that he is the father.
“The man has so far adhered to his bail condition and has always appeared when we need him. In any case, if our legal advisers say we should transfer the case to the police to for the investigation of the rape allegation, we will do so.”
Famakin said the girl is being taken through post-natal care.
Meanwhile, the Zonal Coordinator, Nigerian Immigration Service, Zone A, Ikeja, ACG Musa Maza, has said the NAPTIP has to hand over Husseini over back to the service for further investigation on the status of his stay in the country.
It was learnt that Rhoda’s case was first brought before Maza, who then ordered the arrest of the Lebanese chef.
According to him, his letter to NAPTIP at the time requested that once NAPTIP was done with its investigation, he should be handed over to the service.
But NAPTIP has yet to do so.
“The Nigerian Immigration Service is wholly committed to ensuring that justice is done in this case. When we arrested him, we had to look at the exigency of the situation on ground; life is involved. This is a young innocent girl allegedly impregnated by the Lebanese and she needed care and attention. We quickly had to do the needful by sending her to NAPTIP. It is when NAPTIP hands the man back to us that we will continue with our investigation to determine his immigration status in the country,” Maza said.
Maza said that when Husseini was arrested and the Immigration asked for his passport, he claimed that it was with the Lebanese embassy. He said until he gets the accused back in the custody of the NIS, the Immigration part of the investigation could not proceed.