An Ogun State High Court sitting at Isabo, Abeokuta, yesterday sentenced a retired soldier, Alabi Ibrahim, to life imprisonment for raping his 10-year-old step-daughter and infecting her with Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV.
In his judgement, Justice Abiodun Akinyemi said the accused faced a one-count charge of having sexual intercourse with the child. The offence, he said, was contrary to Section 3 of Child Rights Law.
The judge said the court was convinced that the allegation against the accused had been proved beyond reasonable doubt.
Akinyemi said further that the victim’s testimony, during cross examination, showed that she was telling the truth and not tutored and that there was concrete evidence that the victim was sexually assaulted, having also lost count on number of times the convict assaulted her.
The judge stated: “The court is convinced about the girl’s evidences; she is intelligent, she remained consistent during cross examination. She does not seem to have been tutored.
“I find her evidence credible. Evidence of her mother corroborated her own.”
Akinyemi also made reference to a medical report, which stated that the accused infected the girl with HIV, stressing that the convict’s action had brought a permanent stigma on the innocent girl.
The judge explained that evidence of the medical report did not suggest that the girl had earlier been sexually assaulted as alleged by the convict.
It would be recalled that the convict committed the crime in 2012 in his home, where himself, the victim and her mother lived.
It led to his subsequent arrest and trial, following the intervention of Ogun State chapter of Child Protection Network, CPN, an umbrella body of non-governmental organisations, NGOs.
He nullified argument that there was no eyewitness account on the sex allegation, pointing out that those who engaged in rape didn’t employ the service of a cameraman, rather the witnesses are the accused and the respondent.
‘I am fully convinced that the accused had repeatedly had sex with the girl. I found the accused guilty as charged. I find it not in my mind to show any mercy.
‘’The man is shameless, sleeping with mother and child, what an abomination. People like him need not to be in the society. I therefore sentence him to life imprisonment, he should however be given access to reasonable treatment,’’ the judgement declared
Earlier, during the trial under case number AB/37/C/14, a medical report presented in the court from the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, had established that the convict had assaulted the girl sexually and also infected her with HIV
The report tendered by Dr Seyi Adejobi read that after the defilement, medical investigation showed that the girl’s vagina had been penetrated, while blood investigation also revealed that she had HIV, while the convict blood sample also tested positive with HIV
Similarly, the assaulted girl told the court that she had lost count of the number of times her step daughter slept with her, saying that at the end of every sex, the convict always threatened that she would die if she told anybody.
The convict’s counsel, Adebola Okudoro, in his plea for his client, told the court that the allegation against him was hearsay, and appealed to the court to temper justice with mercy.