Two Islamic clerics get 22-year imprisonment for defiling four minors
A surveyor, John Otema, has been convicted and sentenced to 50-year imprisonment for raping a 19-year-old student (name withheld and identified as Student X) of the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
Justice Abiola Soladoye, of the Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, handed down the judgement yesterday after finding the convict guilty of a two-count charge of rape and assault, causing harm to the 19-year-old victim. 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 prosecution had accused Otema of having sexual intercourse with Student Y without her consent on January 31, 2018 in his home at No. 6, Ajileye Street, Bariga, Lagos.
Otema was also accused of having unlawful sexual intercourse with Student X around the Distance Learning Institute in UNILAG, Akoka, Lagos, on January 17, 2018. He also physically assaulted student X by hitting her several times on the face.
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. The judge 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 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 (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.
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.
Meanwhile, a Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Minna, Niger State, has sentenced two Islamic clerics to 22-year imprisonment for raping four girls. The clerics, who are siblings, Hassan Bilyaminu and Abdullahi Biliyaminu, were said to have raped the minors who were under their tutelage in their Islamic school located in Minna.
The suspects were convicted on two counts charges, which include sexual assault and act of gross indecency. The court, presided by Chief Magistrate Hauwa Baba Yusuf, lamented that the incident would leave a permanent and gruesome memory in the minds of the little girls.
She wondered what rapists derived from assaulting and defiling little girls, saying that it should no longer be condoned.
“One wonders what people like the convicts derived from assaulting and defiling little girls. This has gone berserk; there must be more to this pandemic of sexual assault on little children,” she said.
The suspect, when reading the charges, pleaded guilty and asked the magistrate to tamper justice with mercy, adding that they were tempted by the devil.
According to the First Information Report (FIR) read in court by the police prosecutor, Sergeant Bello Mohammed, the offences committed by the suspects were punishable under Section 285 of the penal code law, as well as Section 19 (2) of the Child’s Right Law of Niger State, 2010.
The charge read: “That on August 2, one Lawal Idris of Tudun Nasira Area of Maitumbi in Minna, represented three others, and reported that on July 31, you Hassan Bilyaminu and Abdullahi Bilyamiu, lured four of the girls whose ages ranges between six and 11 years, pupils of your Islamiya, into your house and defiled them one after the other.”