By Friday Idachaba
A Kogi High Court sitting in Lokoja has sentenced a 23-year old man, Okwudili Ayogu, to 10 years imprisonment for raping the daughter of his master.
In his judgment delivered on Monday in Lokoja, Justice Nasir Ajanah, Chief Judge of Kogi, who presided over the matter, found the defendant guilty of the singular charge of rape.
Ajanah said that the case: HCL/04C/2019 was determined on the strength of its successful prosecution by Iye Idama, Deputy Director, Public Prosecution in the state Ministry of Justice on a singular charge of rape under Section 283 of the Penal Code.
He held that he found the defendant guilty of the offence, which was committed on Oct. 28, 2018 behind Mountain of Fire Church, Phase II, Lokoja, within the Kogi State judicial division.
According to the prosecutor, summary of the offence shows that on the Oct. 28, 2018, the victim took her bath on Sunday morning in preparation to go to church.
She said that when she came out of the bathroom, she was confronted by the defendant who forcibly removed her clothe and raped her.
Idama further told the court that after committing the act, the defendant started begging her not to tell anybody, adding that her father subsequently lodged a complaint with the police station the following day, leading to the arrest of the defendant.
At the police station, the defendant was said to have made confessional statement, admitting the commission of the offence, as he kept pleading with the victim.
In the course of hearing the case, the prosecutor called four witnesses, including the victim, who testified against the defendant, with the victim remaining consistent and unshaken in her allegations that the defendant raped her during cross-examination.
The judge held that, “both confessional statements made by the defendant in this case were positive and unequivocal in admitting his guilt.
“The confessional statement of the defendant corroborates the evidence of the PW1 (victim) that the defendant raped her.”
The three other prosecution witnesses, who were called in the matter, included a medical doctor who examined the victim and tendered a medical report.
The doctor stated in his report that the “examination revealed varying degrees of bruises on the labia minora suggestive of assault. An assault of sexual assault (rape) is being entertained.”
“I, therefore, convict the defendant of the offence of rape, contrary to Section 283 of the Penal Code.”
Ajanah, in passing the sentence on the convict, said that he weighed the offence “against the larger interest of the society against whom the said offence has been committed.
“The relationship between the defendant and the prosecutrix (victim) is such in which it is ordinarily expected that the defendant or convict would protect her in case of any danger.
“However, the convict himself turned out to be the predator.
“It is against this background that I am inclined to and do hereby sentence the convict to a term of 10 years imprisonment from the first date of his detention,” the judge said. (NAN)