An Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti Division, has sentenced two men to life imprisonment for raping a 14-year-old girl.
The convicts, Salau Adams, 21 and Odeleye Tobi 21, were arraigned on May 13, 2022, on one count of rape.
The charge read, “The defendants on February 28, 2022, at Awo Ekiti in the Irepodun/Ifelodun council of Ekiti State, did conspire to rape a 14-year-old-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.”
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In her statement to the police, the victim said, “On that day, I was hawking fried meat. Adams and Tobi bought meat worth N100 each; they pretended to bring out money, but instead, Adams brought out a black handkerchief. I decided to leave and 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. They carried me to a nearby bush behind their house. Adams first forcibly had sex with me and Tobi did the same. Thereafter, they ran away. I went back home crying, with bloodstains on my clothes.”
The prosecutor, Adeola Arogundade, called eight witnesses and tendered the defendants statements and a medical report as exhibits.
The defendants spoke through their counsel, who pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, saying the convicts were young and could still be useful to society.
Justice Olalekan Olatawura, who sentenced the two youths to life imprisonment, said the crime of rape and defilement of children in this jurisdiction is fast assuming a frightening dimension.
“It is the duty of the court to send the right signal to would-be rapists,” Justice Olatawura said.
“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 hold that the defendants conspired to commit the offence of rape.”