A man, Kazeem Adedayo has been sent to jail for life in Lagos, for putting his fingers in the vagina of an 11-year-old daughter of his neighbour.
The judgement was delivered by Justice Abiola Soladoye of a Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence court in Ikeja over the sexual assault on Tuesday.
He was said to have committed the offence on January 12, 2018, in Oshodi area of Lagos, an act which violated Section 261 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The survivor said sometime in January 2018, her mother asked her and her brother to fetch water.
According to her evidence, while fetching the water, some of it poured on her body and in an effort to clean her body, sgd said Adedayo walked up to her and asked to know what happened to her chest. She explained that she had sustained an injury while fetching water.
She further said Adedayo then asked her if she had taken care of her private part, after which he inserted his finger into it. Thereafter, he asked her to follow him into his room, which she refused.
The victim said she had to open up about the incident to a neighbour who noticed strange behaviour in her. This led to her mother finding out about the incident and then involving the police, who arrested Adedayo.
The third prosecuting witness, an Investigating Police Officer, IPO, Adebayo Eko, who served at Akinpelu Police Station in 2018, narrated to the court that he obtained statements from the victim and the defendant, which were tabled as Exhibit A and B before the court.
In her judgement, Justice Soladoye said the defendant denied assaulting the victim, when he said that he met the victim and other kids playing in a manner that he considered rough and that he cautioned them before going into his room with a friend and gave them some his own children toys.
The convict said he was still in his room till evening and only went outside for a party when he noticed that the victim and her siblings were no longer outside.
But the judge stated that the evidence given by the defendant was only an afterthought to distance himself from being held accountable for his crime.
She discountenanced the evidence given by the defendant’s sister whom she described as a tainted witness, saying she served a purpose which was to redeem the image of her brother.
“The defendant having been found guilty as charged for the offence of sexual assault by penetration contrary to Section 261 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2015, is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment.”
The trial judge found the convict guilty following the presentation of medical report and the evidence of the IPO that he indeed sexually assaulted the girl by penetrating her with his fingers.
Justice Soladoye held that the prosecution successfully proved the case as the survivor couldn’t have consented to the act, adding that the medical report showed that the victim experienced repeated penetration.
The evidence of the IPO corroborated the testimony of the survivor as she identified the defendant as ‘Baba Jamal’ and also gave a vivid account of how he inserted his fingers into her vagina while fetching water in the compound.
The trial judge held, “A medical examination which was carried out by Dr. Oyedeji Alagbe also revealed reddened and bruised vagina as the hymen was almost obliterated.
“The defendant was unable to explain why he was the only one pointed at, in a house full of tenants, as the perpetrator of the heinous crime.
“Evidence of the second defence witness, the defendant’s sister, is unreliable as she does not live with his brother and had no idea when the alleged fingering occurred.”
The judge noted that the two exhibits presented to the court as testimonies of the defendant and the survivor were unambiguous.
“This honourable court is convinced that the overwhelming evidence is compelling as the survivor identified the defendant in the dock,” she ruled.
“I hereby find the defendant guilty as charged, and he is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment,” said the judge.