The Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, on Monday, arraigned and sentenced on an amended charge, a couple, Ezimora Okechukwu, a 49-year-old, to seven years and three years consecutively for indecent handling and sexual assault, and his wife, Ezimora Obioma, to one year of community service for concealing the act of sexual assault done to their housemaid.

According to the prosecution counsel, the offences committed by the couple contravene Section 135 (1), 163 and 415 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State.

The court heard that the incident occurred on July 17, 2022, in the house of the convicts, in the Abule-Osun area of Lagos State.

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PUNCH Metro gathered that the victim, a 15-year-old housemaid at the time of the incident, was indecently handled, touched and sexually assaulted by Okechukwu. The victim reported the heinous act to Obioma who concealed the incident and did not report it to the authorities.

Their amended charge read, “Felony contrary to Section 135(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015. Did you, Ezimora Okechukwu, on July 17, 2022, at No 9, Block 19, Divine Height Street, Abule Osun, Lagos State, indecently handle a victim, a 15-year-old, by caressing her breast?”

“Sexual assault contrary to Section 163 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State. Did you Ezimora Okechukwu sexually assault the victim?”

“Accessory after the fact of felony contrary to Section 415 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State. Did you Ezimora Obioma, fail to notify police when the victim age 15 years, reported to you that one Ezimora Okechukwu had sexual intercourse with her.”

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Both defendants pleaded guilty to the charges.

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PUNC Metro reports that the first defendant’s charge, which was, “Defilement contrary to Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015, was reduced after he applied for a plea bargain through his counsel. He and his wife were then granted a lesser charge and sentence.

The prosecution counsel attested to this saying, “The Honourable Attorney General considered the request on the grounds that the defendants showed remorse for their actions, were first-time offenders with no previous convictions and the impact of the conviction on the second defendant and her four young children.”

He further stated, “The Attorney General then accepted that the 2nd defendant be sentenced to a conditional discharge of one-year community service.”

Delivering his judgment, Justice Ramon Oshodi held that the act committed by the couple was heinous.

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“The first defendant stands accused of a heinous act, the defilement of a vulnerable housemaid who found shelter under his roof. The second defendant, rather than being a protector or seeking justice, the second defendant is said to have become an accomplice in silence and an accessory, she stands accused of disregarding the victim’s right by concealing the alleged crime even after the occurrence. These allegations paint a picture of the horror of abuse of power and moral failure challenging our society’s most fundamental principle of care and trust,” he held.

He then sentenced the first defendant, Okechukwu, to seven years for indecent handling and three years for sexually assaulting the victim, both sentences would run concurrently, and also sentenced Obioma to one year of community service.