An Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court in Lagos, on Friday, sentenced a commercial driver, Sunday Umeh, aged 36, to 30 years’ imprisonment for allegedly defiling a 10-year-old child (name withheld).
Justice Sybil Nwaka, who did not give the convict an option of fine, said that the sentence would serve as deterrent to others.
” I find the defendant guilty of the offence of defilement, he is sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment.
” It is the desire of every well-meaning Nigerian and Lagos State Government to make the society safe for the girl-child.
“Sexual offenders have no place in the society, they must be put away for good,” she ruled.
The convict, who was charged with defilement, had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge
The prosecution led by Mr B.T Boye had submitted that the convict committed the offence on Aug. 5, 2016, at 7.30p.m. on Adeniji Adele Street on Lagos Island, Lagos.
According to Boye, the convict defiled a 10-year-old girl who was sent by her grandmother to buy drugs.
He said that the case was reported by the victim’s father at the Adeniji Adele Police Station on Lagos Island.
“The victim was given N200.00 to buy drugs by her grandmother nearby but she misplaced the money.
“The victim started crying which made the defendant to ask her why she was crying.
“Umeh told her to stop crying and promised to give her N200,00 if she should follow him upstairs to his room.”
He said that when they got upstairs, the defendant suddenly dragged and pushed the child to the floor, removed her pants and attempted putting his penis into her vagina but it did not enter; then, he put it into her anus.
The prosecutions brought two witnesses for evidence.
The first witness was the Investigating Police Officer, Comfort Bawa, who testified that the defendant hit the victim’s head, dragged her and forcefully had carnal knowledge of her.
The second witness is Dr Oyedeji Alagbe who interpreted the report of a medical examination carried out on the victim.
Alagbe confirmed that physical injuries were found on the genitals of the victim.
“Medical report revealed vagina hypermenia and bruises suggestive of recent penetrative vaginal injury which corroborates victim’s claim of being sexually assaulted,” Alagbe said
Umeh, however, denied the allegations in his testimony.
He said: “l saw the victim crying while l was playing a lottery game in front of the game shop, and l asked her why she was crying.
“She told me she misplaced the money her grandmother gave her to buy drugs, and l told her to stop crying and gave her another N200.00.
“Later, l saw the victim’s father and some policemen coming to arrest me, alleging that l molested the victim sexually,” he said.
The offence contravenes the provisions of Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015 (Revised).
Commenting on the judgement, Boye said that the judgement would serve as a deterrent to others, adding that Lagos State Government would continually fight sexual offenders.
“The state will fight until it becomes a safe society for the girl-child to live in,” he said.