Justice Muslim Hassan of a Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday, sentenced a 58-year old farmer, Yesiru Onajobi, to a jail term of 10 years for rape and defilement of his teenage daughter.
The Judge, who noted the rising wave of rape in the society, ordered that the convict would serve 10 years imprisonment without option of fine.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the convict, a resident of Bogije St.
He was prosecuted by The National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP).
The Prosecutor, National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP), had told the court that after the death of Onaboji’s wife, he took custody of his only daughter who is a twin, while her brother was with relatives.
The convict was said to have engaged in repeated sexual adventures with his daughter, with whom he shared the same bed and restrained her movement or interaction with neighbours.
Although the convict had pleaded not guilty to the charge, the case suffered some set backs and adjournments as he had no legal representation for several months while he was in custody.
The trial, however, subsequently commenced after a lawyer was provided for the convict from the Legal Aid Council.
In his lengthy judgement on Friday, Hassan gave a detailed analysis of the facts of the case as reflected in the charge and the various arguments as canvased by respective parties.
The court expressed dissatisfaction at the high rate of rape, defilement, assault and sexual abuse of the girl child, which had become prevalent in the society.
“The issue for determination as formulated by counsel, can be summed into one, and that is whether the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
“Proof beyond reasonable doubt is not proof beyond any shadow of doubt; once an ingredient of the offence is proved, it is sufficient proof,” he said.
Hassan held that it was difficult to disbelieve the evidence of the victim who he said gave a vivid account of the incidences, adding that her testimony remained constant at all times.
” The evidence of PW1 was consistent both in her examination-in-chief and under cross examination.
“PW 2 also corroborated this evidence and the defendant did not produce any evidence to prove his denial.
“I believe the evidence of PW1 and I hold that the prosecution has been able to prove its case.
“I hereby convict you, Yesiru Onajobi, on this charge and I call for allocutus,”
After listening to a very brief allocutus (plea for mercy) by defence counsel who urged the court to temper justice with mercy, the court held that the charge against the convict was a serious one.
“The right of custody of a child does not extend to abuse as done in this charge.
“The offence of defilement and child molestation is becoming rampant in our society, as one cannot leave his child under the care of his neighbour.
“I hereby sentence you, Yesiru Onajobi to 10 years imprisonment each on counts one and two, without option of fine.
“The terms shall run concurrently from the date of arrest,” he said
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the charge was first filed before Justice Barbara Molokwu in 2011, but was reassigned to Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, after the transfer of Molokwu.
The case was again reassigned to Justice Hassan following the transfer of Aneke.
During trial, the victim gave a detailed account of how she was repeatedly sexually exploited by her father, who threatened to kill her if she dared to speak to anyone about it.
She had told the court that she slept on the same bed with her father, and had informed him when she discovered she had missed her period.
According to the victim, her father had taken her for test and when the result proved positive, he insulted and accused her of sleeping around while her mates were in school.
She told the court that her father pressed her mouth with a hot iron when she attempted revealing the secret, but added that when her pregnancy began to grow, she then informed her relatives who took her away to her grand mother.
The victim had told the court that when the baby was born, her grandmother refused the baby and she then called her father to take the child.
In his testimony, the defendant told the court that while he was taking the baby home, he was accosted by passengers who accused him of kidnapping for rituals.
He said that he was then arrested by police and after making confessional statements, he was handed over to NAPTIP for prosecution, while the baby is currently in custody of the state. (NAN)
Naval Staff Kidnapped at Residence in Kogi
From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
A staff of Naval Headquarters, Abuja, Mr Musa Lawal has been kidnapped in Lokoja.
He was abducted in Lokoja at his residence, behind Post Flood Housing Estate, Lokoja at about 8 pm on Monday after they destroyed his doors and windows.
The Naval staff was to depart for his station, Abuja on Tuesday morning before the unfortunate incident.
An hour after the Abduction, the kidnappers had called, demanding for three million naira ransom.
The wife of the kidnapped naval staff Mrs Juliana Musa who narrated her ordeal, told Our Correspondent that one of the hands was cut and taken away with bleeding.
Kogi Police Command Spokesman, SP William Aya told DAILY ASSET that he was not aware about the incident with an assurance that the command will investigate the incident.
Sallah: FRSC to Deploy Breathalysers
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Ogun Sector Command is to deploy breathalysers to test motorists in order to detect those who drive under the influence of alcohol the Sallah festival.
The Sector Commander of FRSC, Mr Ahmed Umar, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Ota, Ogun.
Umar said that any motorist who tests positive to alcohol would be subjected to further test for other drugs.
He said that the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) would be engaged for this purpose during the festival.
“We are therefore appealing to motorists to avoid drink driving during and after the festive period.
“People should not indulge in drinking and driving at the same time to prevent unnecessary loss of life,” he said.
Umar also said that any vehicle impounded because the driver violated traffic rules and regulations would not be released until after the Sallah festival.
The sector commander said that the FRSC would collaborate with the police to check Road Traffic Violations (RTV) on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
”We are also collaborating with the Navy and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps
to maintain sanity during the Sallah festival on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Sagamu -Ijebu Ode-Ore Expressway.(NAN)
Ex-Senator Alleges N500m Contract Racket in Ebonyi, Petitions EFCC, FIB, DSS
From Godwin, Okeh Abakaliki
A former Senator, who represented Ebonyi Central Senatorial Zone in the National Assembly, Sen. Emmanuel Onwe on Friday invited the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Federal Investigation Bureau (FIB) to urgently investigate alleged contract racket involving a company, Express Concerns International Ltd and one Mr Onny Igbokwe, who parades as whistleblower.
Senator Onwe, who hails from Ikwo LGA and the current APGA senatorial candidate for Ebonyi Central senatorial in the 2023 general election, made this known while speaking with newsmen in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital.
Recall that, Igbokwe had in a petition he forwarded to the Presidential Amnesty Programme; the Federal Ministry of Justice; among others, claimed that the Senator and Express Concerns International Ltd were involved in illegal N500 million deal.
Onwe, who is the Director of the Agric Division of Express Concerns International Ltd, insisted that Igbokwe became aggrieved because he scuttled his criminal efforts to steal the 30 per cent mobilisation fund, for a project meant to train Niger Delta youths.
“Igbokwe’s intention was to steal the money and proceed to probably poison him to avert traces of the attempted criminal diversion of the fund.
“The information being peddled by Mr Onny Igbokwe is absolutely false. This is nothing but pure criminal blackmail for that matter, arising from the greed of this crook called Igbokwe and his criminal co-travellers.
“An award of contract was made to Express Concerns Intentional Ltd on the 24th of November, 2021 to train 90 Niger Delta youths.
“This so-called petition he (Igbokwe) is peddling arose from the fact that he demanded N84million from me, which of course there was no way I was going to give him N84million from a contract that would not yield a profit of that amount.
“They know me. My integrity is as solid as the rock and nothing they do will affect that. And in the fullness of time, by the time we bring these criminal blackmailers to book, we will be justified. Therefore, I’m inviting EFCC, FIB, DSS and others to come and investigate this matter.
“By the way, this contract is to train young people from the Niger Delta in rice farming, fish farming and poultry,” he stated.
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