An Ogun State High Court, sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta, on Thursday sentenced a retired soldier, Alabi Ibrahim, to life imprisonment for raping his 10-year-old stepdaughter and infecting her with HIV.
The convict committed the crime in 2012 at his home where the victim and her mother resided.
He was subsequently arrested and tried, following the intervention of Ogun State Chapter of Child Protection Network, an umbrella body of Non-Governmental Organisations, NGO’s which fights for the rights of children.
Earlier during the trial under case number AB/37/C/14, a medical report presented in the court from the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, established that the convict had sexually assaulted the girl and also infected her with HIV.
The report tendered by Dr Seyi Adejobi showed that the girl had been penetrated, while blood investigation also revealed that she has HIV, as the the convict.
The victim told the court that she lost count of the number of times her step father had sex with her, saying at the end of every sex, the convict always threatened that she would die if she should 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 in seeing that his client was not sentenced.
“My Lord, the accused person is a first offender. The health of accused should be put into consideration. He is infected with HIV, and will need access to medical attention, which is very expensive, and there is no such facilities in prisons custody. The accused person is the breadwinner of the family. He has several dependants. We pray the court to temper justice with mercy,” the counsel pleaded.
However, in his judgement, Justice A.A Akinyemi said the accused faced a one-count charge of having sexual intercourse with the child, an offence said to be contrary to section 3 of Child Rights Law, noting that, the court was convinced with the allegation against the accused after several court sittings.
Akinyemi added further that the victim’s testimony during cross examination showed that she was telling the truth, and not tutored and there were concrete evidence that the victim was sexually assaulted having also lost count on number of times the convict assaulted her.
“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,” the judge stated.
Akinyemi also made reference to the medical report, which stated that the accused infected the girl with HIV, saying the convict’s act has brought a permanent stigma on the innocent girl.
The judge also explained that evidence of the medical report does not suggest that the girl had earlier been sexually assaulted, as the convict claimed.
He dismissed the claim that there was no witness account of the sex allegation, saying that those who engage in rape do not employ the services of a cameramen.
“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.