An Ikeja Special Offences Court, on Friday, sentenced a 38-year-old barber, Jobi Kayode, to 20 years in prison for defiling his 12-year-old neighbour (name withheld).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo sentenced Kayode after finding him guilty of a charge of defilement due to the strength of the complainant’s testimony and the medical evidence.
“The prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and I hereby convict him on the offence of defilement, as charged.
“The instances of rape have become prevalent in our society and it is almost becoming an epidemic. The defilement of a 12-year-old neighbour, who trusted him as her neighbour, is heinous.
“The defendant is hereby sentenced to 20 years in prison, to be served at the Kirikiri Correctional Centre, with no option of fine. The sentence starts from today, Nov. 8, 2019,” the judge said.
NAN reports that five witnesses (the complainant, her parents, a medical doctor and a police officer) testified for the prosecution during the trial, while Kayode testified solely in his defence.
The complainant (name withheld), who was a Junior Secondary School One (JSS1) student, while testifying during the trial, had said that the convict had the habit of making lewd advances at her and showing her his manhood whenever she was heading home from school.
While being led in evidence by Mr F. O. Ligali, the lead prosecuting counsel, she said “I usually close from school at 4 pm. from Mondays to Thursdays and 2 pm. on Fridays.
“Whenever I’m coming back from school, he (defendant) usually makes advances at me and sometimes brings out his penis and shakes it at me,” she said.
The student said that one day, when she was opening the gate to the compound of her home, the defendant approached her and told her he wanted to see her neighbour in the compound.
She said that immediately he got into the compound, he overpowered her and defiled her.
“He threatened me that if I should tell anyone about what he did to me, he would kill me,” she said.
The complainant said she did not tell anyone about the incident and that three days later, he approached her again while she was opening the gate of her compound, telling her again that he wanted to see her neighbour.
“He promised not to rape her and when he got into the compound, he rushed at me faster than the first time and raped me. He again threatened to kill me if I should tell anyone,” she said.
The complainant said that she did not tell her parents about the incident but that she revealed the incident after a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) came to give sex education in her school.
She said she confided in a member of the NGO team about the defilement, who later informed her teacher who, in turn, told her to inform her parents but that she declined to tell her parents out of fear.
According to her, her mother was informed about the defilement by her teacher during a PTA meeting, while the mother informed her father who, in turn, reported to the authorities.
Kayode, in his defence, denied defiling his neighbour.
“I had, at no time, visited the complainant’s compound. Their gate was always locked with a padlock,” he said.
Before the sentence was passed, Mr Saheed Sanusi, the defence counsel, in his allocutus (plea for mercy), had asked the court to temper justice with mercy.
“We plead for leniency; the defendant is a first time offender; he has a family to look after. His family will suffer as a result.
“We plead the court for leniency so that he will continue to support his family. He has learnt his lesson; such an incident will not happen again,” Sanusi pleaded.
According to the prosecution, the convict committed the offence on June 21, 2015, at the Shangisha area of Lagos.
“The offence contravenes Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos, 2011,” Ligali said.