35-year-old sentenced to life imprisonment for defiling 8-year-old minor

35-year-old sentenced to life imprisonment for defiling 8-year-old minor

The High Court of Justice, Delta State, sitting at Asaba and presided over by Honourable Justice Onome Marshal-Umukoro, has convicted and sentenced a 35-year-old man, Idris Hassan, to life imprisonment for rape.

The Defendant was arraigned before the court on a one-count charge of rape, punishable under Section 218 of the Criminal Code Law Cap C21 Vol. 1 Laws of the Delta State of Nigeria 2006.

He was alleged to have, on the 22nd of August, 2022, had unlawful carnal knowledge of a minor (aged 8 years) where the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecution led by Mrs Patricia Uche Akamagwuna, Director of Sexual Offences, Domestic Violence and Childs’ Rights Unit in the Delta State Ministry of Justice, called six witnesses, and the tendered confessional statement of the defendant.

The prosecution told the court that the survivor was at home with her two elder siblings when the defendant, who is a gateman to their neighbour, lured her to come and “take biscuits”.

When she got there, the defendant forced himself on her. The survivor’s neighbour caught the defendant in the act and he was subsequently arrested by men of the Nigerian Police ‘B’ Division, Asaba.

The defendant, in his defence, however, denied the charge and retracted the confessional statement stating that there was no sexual contact between him and the survivor.

Delivering his judgement, Honourable Justice Onome Marshal-Umukoro held that he believed the evidence of the prosecution and that the prosecution had proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

The court, thereafter, convicted and sentenced the defendant to life imprisonment

In a related development, another High Court in Delta State, sitting at Kwale Criminal Division, with charge number HCK/31c/2022 between The State v. Peace Nigeria (first defendant) and Goodness Ezekiel (second defendant), presided over by Honourable Justice O F. Enenmo, on Wednesday, 11th day of July 2023, discharged and acquitted the first defendant (Peace Nigeria) and sentenced the second defendant (Goodness Ezekiel) to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour for rape.

The defendants were arraigned before the Kwale high court on the 7th of September 2021. The first defendant, (Peace Nigeria) was arraigned on a three-count charge of, aiding, abetting and procuring another person to commit a felony to wit: rape contrary to section 4(3) and punishable under section 4(1) of the Violence against Persons Laws of Delta State 2020.

The second defendant, (Goodness Ezekiel) was arraigned on a one-count charge of rape punishable under section 4(1) of the Violence Against Persons Laws of Delta State 2020.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecution led by (Mrs) Ejovwokwe Arhuere Oghorodje, a Deputy Director in the Ministry of Justice, told the court that, the second defendant (Goodness Ezekiel) had carnal knowledge of the victim without her consent in the presence of the first defendant (Peace Nigeria).

The prosecution prove his case by direct oral evidence of its four witnesses, confessional statements of the defendants and a medical report of the survivor admitted in this proceeding.

The defendants gave evidence in defence of the case and did not call any witnesses in support of their case.

The first defendant (Peace Nigeria) told the court that she knew the survivor, that she is her neighbour and that her father used to drive her out of the house because he could not fend for her, that the survivor’s father asked her to be his girlfriend and she refused. That is why he connived with the daughter to frame her in this case.

The second defendant (Goodness Ezekiel) told the court that, he knew the first defendant, (Peace Nigeria) who is his proposed fiancée, but he denied his confessional extrajudicial statement.

In cross-examination, he admitted that he had sexual intercourse with the survivor while his fiancée was asleep.

Delivering his judgement, Hon Justice O. F. Enemo found the first defendant not guilty of the two-count charge brought against her. On the other hand, the second defendant (Goodness Ezekiel) was found guilty of the offence of rape contrary to section 3(1) and punishable under section 4(1) of the Violence Against Persons Law of Delta State, 2020.

The court thereafter sentenced the second defendant to fifteen years imprisonment with hard labour.

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