New Lagos court jails man 60 years for raping 12-year-old

The Lagos Sexual Offences Court in Ikeja has sentenced its first convict, 58-year-old Obinna Iziejen, to 60 years in prison for raping a 12-year-old girl.
Mr. Iziejen, who was arraigned alongside two others, had pleaded guilty to a defilement charge at the last court sitting on February 15 and was convicted accordingly.
While delivering judgement, the judge, Sybil Nwaka, said, “This defendant is charged with the offence of defilement of a child aged 12, contrary to section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2011.”
“Upon his plea of guilt, the prosecution stated the facts of the case and the defendant admitted they were facts to which he pleaded guilty and the defendant was accordingly convicted.”
The convict’s lawyer had pleaded for leniency for his client on the ground that the Nigerian prison is not conducive for people of his client’s age.
But the prosecutor, Jide Boye, argued that the court should allow justice take its course, adding that rape offences have become rampant and should no longer be tolerated particularly in situations where our girl children can no longer move freely.
“I cannot agree less with the prosecution that the incidence of rape have taken astronomical leap in the society,” the judge continued. 
“The rate at which men in large numbers are prowling to prey on children especially the girl child is alarming. Children are no longer safe with uncles, brothers and even fathers.
“The desire of this state is to make the environment safe for children who are the leaders of tomorrow as such their lives should not be ruined at a tender age. It is in view of this that I hereby sentence the defendant to 60 years imprisonment with hard labour.”
Mr. Iziejen and two others, Raimi Jimoh and Kazeem Arowolo, were arraigned on February 12 for raping a 12-year-old primary school pupil in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos.

Mr. Iziejen pleaded guilty but his co-defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Wednesday’s sentencing would be the first recorded by the Sexual Offences Court since it was inaugurated weeks ago.
According to the prosecutor, Mr. Iziejen’s guilty plea relieved the state the burden to prove his offence beyond a reasonable doubt.
“The facts are that on the 16th of June 2017, a 12-year-old primary school pupil at a town called Orimeju in Ibeju Lekki, it was observed by the school authorities that the child was in the habit of returning late from lunch break during school hours and upon inquiry, the child admitted that the second defendant, Arowolo Kazeem Olorunwa, had been having sexual intercourse with her during break time.
“The headteacher inquired further and the child also mentioned the third defendant, Obinna Iziejen, and the first defendant, Raimi Jimoh, as people who have defiled her severally during break period.
“In proof of this fact, the prosecution listed five witnesses, a medical report and we were ready to proceed to trial after arraignment but the third defendant, aged 58, pleaded guilty to the offence on the 12th of February 2018,” he said.
Mr. Boye said Section 137 of the state’s Criminal Law stipulates that anyone who has sexual intercourse with a child commits a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life upon conviction.
“In line with the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015, the prosecution prays the court to convict the defendant accordingly,” he added.

Source: Premium Times