The Ado Ekiti High Court has sentenced a middle-aged man, Innocent Eze, to eight years imprisonment for assaulting and raping a 12-year-old girl.
Justice Adekanye Ogunmoye in the judgment delivered on Friday held that Eze was guilty of indecent assault and defilement.
The convict was jailed one year for the first count and seven years for defilement.
Oluwaseyi Ojo and Tayo Bade-Gboyega who had appeared for the state had told the court that the offences were contrary to Sections 360 and 218 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
Prosecutors told the court that Eze, on August 31, 2011, in Ijan-Ekiti, grabbed the victim after assisting him to fetch water from a well and dragged her inside his room where he forcefully had carnal knowledge of the girl.
The court was also told that the convict stuffed a handkerchief in the girl’s vaginal to stop the bleeding after he had raped her. Eze was also said to have given the victim N100 to buy drugs after the defilement.
Confirming that the victim was defiled, a witness, Dr. Oluwagbemiga Alade, who treated the victim at General Hospital, Ijan Ekiti, confirmed that the girl’s hymen was “traumatised, with laceration along the vaginal wall.”
Counsel for the convict, Mrs. N. Nwafor, had pleaded that the court temper justice with mercy. However, the judge described the act as barbaric, saying the perpetrator should be punished to deter others.
The judge said, “It’s unfortunate that a 12-year-old girl was sexually defiled as was done to the victim in this case. It is more unfortunate that the matter came to the public domain.
“The convict, by his act, had succeeded in placing a stigma on the person of the victim, which may take a long time to erase. The trauma suffered by the victim would take a longer time to forget.
“The act of the convict is not such as should be encouraged. This is definitely a barbaric act and the sentence must be such as would serve as deterrent to the convict and others who still harbour similar tendencies.”
Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi, in a statement issued by her Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Akin Oyedele, in reaction to the judgement, said such punishment would serve as deterrent to other sexual perverts on the prowl.
She urged rape victims to always speak out to stop rapists from their wicked acts.