An Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court yesterday sentenced a bricklayer, Idowu Ismail Gbolahan, to life imprisonment for defiling his seven-year-old niece.
Justice Abiola Soladoye convicted Gbolahan, 30, after he pleaded guilty to the charge, Gbolahan who was arraigned on one count of defilement by the Lagos State Governmen, defiled the victim when she visited her grandmother at 50, Morocco Road, Somolu, Lagos on August 11 last year.
The prosecutor, Mrs. Fehinti Ogbemudia, told the court that the defendant took the victim from her grandmother’s room where she went to drink water to his own room to defile her.
She said: “The defendant suddenly carried the victim to his room and shut the door. He removed her pants and had sex with her. The victim’s scream attracted a neighbour, Ufot Esther, who led her rescue.
“The defendant made a confessional statement and the victim was referred to the Mirabel Centre at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, for medical examination, to corroborate her evidence.
“The statement and report are attached to the proof of evidence, which is before the court. We rely on Section 213 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) 2015.”
In his allocutus (plea for mitigation of sentence), defence cousel Mr. Kelechi Obi said Gbolahan was a first offender, with no criminal record, adding that he did not also waste the court’s time.
In her judgment, Justice Soladoye held that the defendant admitted to defiling the girl.
She said: “I have listened carefully to the allocutus of the defence counsel. I hereby hold that the offence in question is a strict liability offence. An offence against a child is a violation of her chastity and I cannot imagine the emotional and physical scars she will endure for the rest of her life.
“Idowu Ismail Gbolahan, male, is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment. This is the judgment of this honourable court’’.