A state high court in Akure on Wednesday sentenced a 37-year-old farmer, Joseph Agbomu, to life imprisonment for raping his neighbour’s six-year-year old daughter.
Mr Agbomu committed the offence on 18 March 2019. He had pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Delivering his judgement, Yemi Fasanmi held that the prosecution proved its case against the convict beyond a reasonable doubt.
The court also held that the victim’s testimony was convincing and truthful.
According to the judge, the convict inflicted physical, emotional and psychological trauma on the victim, who saw a fatherly figure in him as his father’s kinsman and friend.
The judge further noted that the victim’s evidence corroborated the evidence of the nominal complainant, her father.
“The survivor, in this case, narrated before this court that the convict, who was his father’s neighbour, sent her on an errand to buy a pack of indomie,” the judge said.
“The survivor said the convict cooked the indomie and gave her part of it. And shortly after eating, he pushed her to his bed and inserted his penis into her vaginal.”
The judge also stated that the convict, in his extra-judicial statement obtained on 12 December 2019, confessed to the crime.
He said Mr Agbomu confessed that he had carnal knowledge of the survivor in his room, without using a condom, after taking a herbal alcoholic drink.
The judge noted that the child’s testimony was copiously corroborated by the convict’s confessional statement.
Earlier, the state counsel, T.L. Ogundare, informed the court that Mr Agbomu raped the victim on 12 September 2018, at about 7:30 p.m. at Ijebu, Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State.
The prosecutor said the offence contravened Sections 375, 378 of the Ondo State Criminal Code, 2006
Mr Ogundare stated that the survivor’s father reported a case of rape against the defendant.
The prosecutor called three witnesses, which included the survivor, her father and a police officer.
After his conviction, counsel to the defendant, A.Y Aliu, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, saying that no prior case of improper behaviour had ever been brought against the defendant.
Mr Aliu had earlier urged the court to discountenance the medical report.
However, the state prosecutor argued that the law under which the defendant was charged does not give the court any discretion.
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He, therefore, urged the court to impose the mandatory sentence stipulated in the law on the convict.
The judge, in his verdict, convicted Mr Agbomu and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
“The convict (Agbomu) is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment for the defilement of a child to serve as a deterrent to others, who might engage in such an act,” he said.
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