The Sexual Offences Court in Lagos has sentenced a 58-year-old man, Obinna Iziejen, to a jail term of 60 years for defiling a 12-year-old girl. This, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, is the first case to be tried by the court.
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According to the Justice, Sybil Nwaka, the sentence is to serve as a deterrent to other sexual predators in the state. She said: “I cannot agree more with the prosecuting counsel that incidences of rape have taken a new astronomical dimension in our society.”
“The rate at which men in our society are prowling around, looking for young underage children to defile, is alarming. Children, especially the girl child, are no longer safe in the custody of uncles, brothers even fathers; this is sad.”
“Our children, especially the girl child, should be encouraged to cry out and report any sexual assault against them, as this is the only way to correct this dire situation. We desire to make the city of Lagos and its environs safe for our children.”
“These children are leaders of tomorrow and as such, not to be ruined in their formative years. The state of Lagos has zero tolerance for sexual offenses.”
“For these reasons, I hereby sentence you to 60 years imprisonment with hard labor; this is the judgment of this honorable court.”
NAN, however, reports that the convict was arraigned before the court alongside one Raimi Jimoh (38) and Arowolo Olorunwa (35) on a three-count charge of defilement of a child on Feb. 12. While Iziejen pleaded guilty to the offense, Jimoh and Olorunwa claimed innocence of the charges and the trial of the duo is to begin soon.
According to the Chief State Counsel, Mr. Jide Boye, the convict committed the offence at Orimedu Town, Ibeju-Lekki area of the state in 2017.
He said, “the child is a 12-year-old primary five pupil. It was observed by her school authorities that she often returned late from her lunch break during school hours.
“Upon inquiry, the child admitted that Olorunwa has been having sexual intercourse with her during the break time. The head teacher of the school, probing further, reported the matter at the Akodo Police Station, Ibeju-Lekki.
“At the police station, the child also identified Jimoh and Iziejen as persons who also defiled her on a number of occasions during her break time.”
The prosecution, further, revealed that the convict, in his statement to the police, admitted defiling the 12-year-old pupil on three occasions in his home.
Boye had during the facts and sentence proceedings, urged the court to allow the law take its course, and that a stiff punishment is meted out to Iziejen, in order to send a clear message to the public.
“A situation where our children, especially the girl child, cannot freely move around even in schools, should be condemned by the state. The state will deal decisively with anyone found guilty of sexual offenses.”
“The victim/survivor should be reassured of justice, because the state has put the necessary facilities in place, to make sure that they are adequately protected.”