The presiding judge of a Lagos special and sexual offences court, Justice Sybil Nwaka, on Thursday found a 58-year-old man, Obinna Izegbe, guilty of the defilement of a twelve-year-old primary school pupil.
The Judge convicted Izegbe after he found him guilty of the count charge brought against him by Lagos State.
“In view of the plea of guilty by the 3rd defendant, he is hereby convicted accordingly,” she said.
His conviction is the first since the inauguration of the special and sexual offences court on February 1, 2018.
According to the prosecution led by Mr. B.T. Boye, the convict was arraigned on 12, February alongside two others, Raimi Jimoh (1st defendant) and Kazeem Arowolo Olohunwa (2nd defendant) on a three count charge bothering on defilement.
He pleaded guilty while the two others denied the charge.
Boye said the convict, on several occasions, had sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old primary school pupil referred to as Child X.
“On 17th of June, it was observed by the school authority that Child X, a pupil at a town in Orimedu, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos was in the habit of returning late to the class after lunch hour and upon enquiry, the child admitted that the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants have been having sexual intercourse with her during the break time.
“The matter was reported at the police station in Ibeju-Lekki and Child X identified the defendants and the convict as the person who often defile her during her break periods.
The Prosecution further said that five witnesses have been listed for the matter and a medical report has also been obtained as exhibit but the 3rd defendant has pleaded guilty to the charge, thereby relieving the Prosecution of the burden of proving the case beyond reasonable doubt.
“Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2016 states that anyone who has intercourse with a child should be convicted to life imprisonment.
“My Lord, in line with the Criminal Law of Lagos 2016, we pray that the court convict the defendant accordingly.”
The convict’s lawyer, A.I. Bobby, however, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy considering the defendant’s age. He urged the court to grant him a lesser sentence.
In his response, State Counsel, Mr. Boye, urged the court to sentence the convict as deserved.
“The defendant is the first convict of the Special Offences’ Court and this type of offence is becoming rampant in the society as our girl-child can no longer move freely again.
“The State wants a safe environment for our children and this judgement will send a clear signal to people that the state has zero tolerance for such offences.
“It is also a reassurance to people that the State is with them in the fight against sexual offenders.”
He also said that conviction is to assure the survivors (victims) that the State will adequately protect them. He also urged the victims to speak out because it is the only way to arrest the ugly situation.
Justice Nwaka, however, adjourned the matter till February 21, 2018 for sentencing.