An Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti has sentenced two persons to life imprisonment for raping a 14-year-old girl.
The defendants, Salau Adams (21) and Odeleye Tobi (21), were arraigned before Justice Olalekan Olatawura on May 13, 2022.
The police charge read that the defendants on February 28, 2022, at Awo Ekiti in Irepodun/Ifelodun LGA, conspired and raped the girl, contrary to Section 421 of the Criminal Law of Ekiti State and Section 31(2) of the Child’s Rights Law, Cap. C7, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.
In her statement to the police, the victim said, “I know Adams and Tobi on the street. On that day, I was hawking fried meat; they called me and bought meat worth N100 each. They pretend to bring out money and Adams brought out a black handkerchief. I decided to report them to my mother. When I turned, Tobi held and carried me from the back while Adams covered my mouth with the black handkerchief. I was carried to a nearby bush behind their house. Adams first forcefully had sex with me and Tobi also did the same. Thereafter, they ran away.
“I went back home crying, with blood stains on my clothes. I told my mother what happened, and some of our neighbours followed my mother to their house but they were not at home. The matter was reported at the police station and they were later arrested.”
The prosecutor, Adeola Arogundade, called eight witnesses and tendered defendants’ statements and medical report as exhibits.
The defendants spoke through their counsel, O.G. Abiola, who pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, noting that they were young and could still be useful to society.
Justice Olalekan Olatawura said rape and defilement of children in the court’s jurisdiction was fast assuming a frightening dimension, hence that it was the duty of the court to send the right signal to would-be rapists.
He held that, “The only way to discourage this dastardly and bestial act would be to punish those found guilty severely.
“I, therefore, hold that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the defendants had sexual intercourse with the victim and it was not consensual.
“From the proved facts, it can be inferred and I so do that the defendants conspired to commit the offence of rape.
“Consequently, the two defendants are hereby sentenced to life imprisonment.”