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Man Sentenced To Life Imprisonment For Defiling Neighbour’s Under-Age Daughter

The Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court sitting in Ikeja has sentenced to life imprisonment one Rasheed Wasiu for having sexual intercourse with his neighbour’s eleven-year-old daughter (name withheld).

Justice Rahman Oshodi gave the sentence after the defendant of the charge of defilement made against him by the Lagos State Government.

In his judgment, Justice Oshodi, who declared that the offence of defilement is grave and attracts a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment, maintained that the defendant told lies during his evidence before the court.

According to Justice Oshodi, “Notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence against you, you continued to deny your offence. At sentencing, you showed no remorse.

“The evidence shows that you had sexual intercourse with an eleven-year-old girl. She was your neighbour’s daughter. She was, to your knowledge, a child. You grabbed her in the toilet, pushed her to the wall, and had sexual intercourse with her in a beastly manner. “This is unacceptable”.

“You must be ashamed and punished according to the mandatory sentence. Therefore, the sentence I pass upon you is one of life imprisonment. You shall be registered as a sex offender in the Lagos State Sexual Offenders Register,” the judge held.

In the charge dated December 7, 2018, the state government had accused the convict of defiling the survivor on or about March 9, 2018, at about 8:00 pm in the Apapa area of Lagos.

The prosecution had further informed the judge that the offence contravened Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

At his arraignment before Justice Oshodi on Dec. 10, 2021, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.

While the trial lasted, his counsel, Yusuf Oyebanji, urged the court to discharge and acquit the defendant on the ground that the prosecution was unable to establish the guilt of his client beyond a reasonable doubt and that the defence of alibi deflates the defilement allegation.

But the state government through its lawyer, Babajide Boye, insisted that it produced a direct eyewitness and circumstantial evidence to justify the defendant’s conviction for defilement.

Justice Oshodi who held that in criminal law, the prosecution must establish a crime against the defendant, referred to Section 135 (1) of the Evidence Act 2011, to state that the standard of proof is beyond reasonable doubt.

Justice Oshodi said: “Each element of this crime must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. Any doubt must be resolved in favour of the defendant.

“The charge of defilement occurs when a person has sexual intercourse with a child. A child cannot consent to sexual activities.

“In law, where a witness testifies on a material fact in controversy, and the defence does not cross-examine the witness on this point, I can consider the silence as acceptance that the defendant does not dispute the fact.”

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