Funke Busari, Lagos
A surveyor, John Otema has been convicted and sentenced to 50-years imprisonment on Monday for raping a 19-year-old student of the University of Lagos.
Justice Abiola Soladoye of the Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court handed down this judgement to the convict for raping 19-year-old student (name withheld) of the University of Lagos.
The trial judge found the convict guilty of a two-count charge of rape and assault occasioning harm of the 19-year-old student ( identified as Student X) brought against him by the state government.
The judge, however, did not find him guilty of a charge of raping a 20-year-old student (identified as Student Y) of the same institution.
The convict is to spend 50 years in prison for the rape and three years in prison for the assault on student X with both sentences to run concurrently.
The prosecution had accused Otema of having sexual intercourse with Student Y without her consent on January 31, 2018 at his home at No. 6, Ajileye Street, Bariga, Lagos.
Otrma was also accused of of having unlawful sexual intercourse with Student X around the Distance Learning Institute in UNILAG, Akoka, Lagos, January 17, 2018.
He also allegedly physically assaulted student X by hitting her several times on the face as well as strangling and biting her back.
The offences, according to the prosecution, violated sections 173 and 260(1)(2) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Justice Soladoye freed Otema of raping student Y, because she was observed to have mischievous demeanor while giving her testimony.
The judge noted that she would not have claimed that she was raped if Otema had paid her the N50, 000 agreed upon before their rendezvous.
Justice Soladoye quoted a portion of student Y’s evidence which stated, “With intention to scare him off, I asked him for N100,000 but he said he will give me N50,000.
“I gave him my account number but he did not credit my account. Friendship with benefits was the crux of our relationship.”
The judge described student Y as a game player who had embarked on a sexual escapade.
“The defendant, John Osagie Otema in respect of count-one (rape) is found not guilty as there is overwhelming evidence before the court that sexual intercourse between the defendant and Prosecution Witness, PW2 (Student Y) was consensual as it was friendship with benefits,” she explained.
The judge convicted Otema of rape and assault occasioning harm of student X and further held that in addition to medical evidence and photographs tendered by the prosecution, student X had also identified the defendant as her assailant who bit her back and punched her eyes.
“For count two (rape), the defendant is found guilty and is hereby sentenced to 50-years in prison as it the evidence adduced before this court has been proved beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution.
“With regard to count three (assault occasioning harm) the defendant is found guilty and is hereby sentenced to three years in prison as the prosecution has done its job diligently by proving the charge beyond reasonable doubt.”
Meanwhile, Justice Soladoye was appalled by the spate of sexual violence committed against women and girls.
“This State of Excellence has zero tolerance for this sort of crime and the punishment meted out to the defendant will serve as a deterrent to other sex offenders that they too will be caught and brought to justice.
“Women and girls like every other member of the society should be respected and not be turned into prey by sex maniacs,” she stated.