Friday, May 24, 2024

Lagos software engineer gets life imprisonment for raping 13-year-old girl

Mr Oshodi also held that the alibi and the issue of extortion, which the convict relied on, did not hold water.

• April 23, 2024
Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court
Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court [Photo Credit: The Guardian]

The Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court has sentenced a 32-year-old software engineer, Chukwudi Anyanwu, to life imprisonment for defiling his neighbour’s 13-year-old minor (name withheld).

Justice Rahman Oshodi, in his judgment on Tuesday, held that the prosecution had proven the charge of defilement against Mr Anyanwu.

Mr Oshodi said the medical report corroborated the evidence of the survivor and that of her guardian.

He said the prosecution submitted that the two police officers, Iyabo Dawodu and Rebecca Osola-Jacob, who were listed on the prosecution witness list, gave evidence for the defence instead, which showed they were tainted.

Mr Oshodi also held that the alibi and the issue of extortion, which the convict relied on, did not hold water.

He said the evidence presented in court against the convict had shown that he took advantage of the vulnerable girl who was living in the same compound as him.

He said the convict exploited his position of familiarity and authority to lure the survivor into his room on Children’s Day, May 27, 2021, and subjected her to the harrowing ordeal of sexual abuse.

The judge added that the convict’s action had undoubtedly inflicted deep psychological wounds that might take a lifetime to heal.

Mr Oshodi said, “You have shown a troubling lack of integrity and remorse throughout the proceedings and when you were confronted by the victim’s guardian about the heinous act, you initially denied any wrongdoing.

“However, when the young brave victim repeated the details of your abuse in your presence, you resorted to begging for forgiveness, claiming it was the work of the devil.”

He added, “This attempt to evade responsibility and downplay the severity of your action is reprehensible. Even more concerning is that you expressed your intention to bribe the police to suppress the case and protect your reputation.

“This blatant disregard for the law and attempt to pervert the course of justice is a serious aggravating factor that cannot be overlooked.”

Mr Oshodi reiterated that the impact of the convict’s actions on the survivor could not be overstated, as he had robbed her of her innocence, shattered her trust and left her with deep emotional scars.

He said the court must ensure that justice is served and that society receives a clear message that such reprehensible acts will not be tolerated.

He said, “I hope this sentence brings some measures of closure and helps her on the path of healing. In line with the severe nature of the offence, the breach of trust involved, your lack of remorse, your attempt to pervert the course of justice and the long-lasting impact on the victim, I now sentence you, Chukwudi Anyanwu, to the mandatory life sentence under Section 137 of the Criminal Law (Supra).

“This sentence reflects the gravity of your actions and the need to protect vulnerable members of our society from predatory individuals like yourself. During your time in the custodial centre, I hope you reflect on the immense harm you have caused and take steps towards rehabilitation.”

(NAN)

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