Criminal Law

Okada rider bags life jail term for raping 12 year old passenger

An Ikeja High Court on Wednesday sentenced a 33-year-old motorcyclist, Michael Ahmed to life imprisonment for raping his passenger.

The survivor was 12-year-old while the convict was 24-year-old at the time he committed the offences in 2013.

Justice Hakeem Oshodi, in his judgement, said that the prosecution had succeeded in proving the case against the defendant beyond reasonable doubts.

“The evidence of the victim is concise and clear while the defendant’s evidence is distorted before the court. He tried to distort the facts in the timing of the incident, how he got to the police station and the name he was called on the day of the incident.

“There is a clear evidence before the court that the defendant forced herself on the victim. There is also proof before the court that the defendant bit the survivor on the shoulder.

“The defendant is hereby convicted of the two count charge or rape and serious assault against him.

“The court has clearly considered the allocutus presented by the defence counsel. However, the offence of rape is mandatory and the court has no power to pronounce a lesser sentence.

The defendant is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment which is the statutory sentence for rape and three years jail term for serious assault. This should take effect from July 25, 2013 he had been in detention,” he said.

The defence counsel, Mr Ramon Bashir, in his  allocutus, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, noting that the defendant had no prior criminal record.

“My Lord the convict is a young man who I believe has turned a new leaf. It is evident before the court that he
never committed any offence before today. My Lord, the convict is pleading before the court to temper Justice with mercy,” he said.

During the trial, four witnesses – the survivor, her father, an investigative police officer and a medical doctor from the Ikorodu General Hospital testified for the prosecution while the convict, his sister and a vigilante who knew the defendant, testified for the defence.

According to the Lagos State prosecuting team members comprising Mr M.T. Adewuyi and Ms A.A. Asiwaju, the defendant committed the offences on July 9, 2013, about 11.30 p.m. on New Covenant Estate, Gaga in Ikorodu, Lagos.

The team said that the survivor was raped by the defendant, while she was on her way from church.

They said the survivor and her two sisters were at a Berger Bus Stop when they called the defendant to carry them to the house.

The defendant could not carry the three of them at once. As a result of that, the survivor told the defendant to drop her two sisters first at home and come back to pick her.

The prosecution submitted that defendant told the survivor he was trying to avoid the police at the estate and diverted into another route. He pretended that the bike was faulty and survivor got down from the bike to check what was wrong.

They further said the defendant bounced on the survivor, strangled her, hit her head in the mud and raped her. The survivor fought back, bit him on the shoulder but he threatened to kill her if she did not allow him have his way.

The prosecutors further said that the defendant was arrested in his house and taken to the police station by the security of the estate after the survivor narrated her ordeal to them.

The offense contravenes Section 172 and 258 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011. (NAN)

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