An Ekiti State High Court, Ado Ekiti Division, has sentenced a 45-year-old teacher, Oluwagbemi Alabi, to 15 years imprisonment for raping an eight-year-old girl.

Alabi, who committed the offence in 1999, was arraigned on August 25, 2023, on one count of rape.

The charge read, “Alabi Oluwafemi, sometime in 1999 at Ikere Ekiti within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did rape an eight-year-old girl, at the time of committing the offence.

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“The offence was contrary to and punishable under Section 358 of the Criminal Code, Cap 30, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 1978.”

In his testimony before the court, the victim, who said Alabi was his teacher and neighbour, said, “He touched my breast each time he came to teach me at home. I did not understand anything about what he was doing until he raped me in our sitting room when my mother travelled to Lagos and left me and my sister at home.

“He removed my cloth and used it to clean the blood and sperm and threw it away. I later ran to our neighbours weeping, they thought I was missing my mother, but I did not tell them what happened.”

The victim, who said he dropped out of the school since she could no longer concentrate on her studies, stated, “I was afraid anytime I saw him in the class. He came across me on Facebook sometime in 2012, sent me a friend request and I declined.

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“In year 2023 again, he started disturbing me. I reported the matter to the law enforcement agents. I was advised to ignore him. Thereafter, he started sending disturbing and annoying videos and messages to me, referring to the past ugly incident. When I could no more bear it, I decided to take a legal action against him”, she told the court.

To prove his case, the prosecutor, Kunle-Shina Adeyemo, called two witnesses and tendered a confessional statement of the defendant, evidence of the defendant’s conversations with the nominal complainant, petition and printout from a screenshot of chats among others as exhibits.

The defendant spoke in his own defence through his lawyer, Ademola Adeyemi, and called two witnesses.

In the judgment, Justice Lekan Ogunmoye said, “The sexual intercourse with the victim could not have been consensual in that, she, as an eight-year-old girl, was a minor and lacked the capacity to consent to sexual intercourse.

“The confessional statement of the defendant also showed without equivocation that the defendant indeed committed the offence.

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“This issue is resolved in favour of the prosecution and the defendant is found guilty as charged. One of the aims of sentencing is to serve as deterrent. The defendant is hereby sentenced to 15 years imprisonment without option of fine,” the judge pronounced.