The accused person, Paul Fidelis, had pleaded not guilty when the case was mentioned on Oct. 3.
“I have forgiven the alleged offender,” the father of the victim, Pastor Paul Goodness of Anguwan Fulani, Jikwoyi, Abuja, said on Wednesday.
“As a pastor who preaches to people about forgiveness, I feel I should show good example.
“Fidelis’ family members have come and pleaded with me.”
The magistrate, Mr. Christopher Oba, however warned Goodness of the implication of his decision.
“You don’t let your 13-year-old-daughter to be molested and you want to overlook it in the name of compassion.
“This act of defilement can negatively affect her for the rest of her life; it may make her not to trust any man again.”
But Goodness insisted, “I believe the word of God can do better in her life.”
The magistrate then ordered that 21 strokes of the cane be administered on the accused and that he should sign a bond of peace that would run for 10 years. [NAN]