An Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court on Wednesday sentenced Obinna Iziejen, a 58-year-old paedophile, to 60 years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling a 12-year-old pupil.
Iziejen was convicted of the offence of defilement on Feb. 15.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the sentence is the first judgment of the Sexual Offences Court inaugurated by Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Feb. 1.
Justice Sybil Nwaka, in her judgment, said that the sentence would serve as a deterrent to sexual predators in the state.
She said: “I cannot agree more with the prosecuting counsel that incidences of rape have taken a new astronomical dimension in our society.
“The rate at which men in our society are prowling around, looking for young underage children to defile, is alarming.
“Children, especially the girl child, are no longer safe in the custody of uncles, brothers even fathers; this is sad.
“Our children, especially the girl child, should be encouraged to cry out and report any sexual assault against them, as this is the only way to correct this dire situation.
“We desire to make the city of Lagos and its environs safe for our children.
“These children are leaders of tomorrow and as such, not to be ruined in their formative years.
“The state of Lagos has zero tolerance for sexual offences.
“For these reasons, I hereby sentence you to 60 years imprisonment with hard labour; this is the judgment of this honourable court.”
NAN reports that the convict was arraigned on Feb. 12 alongside Raimi Jimoh (38) and Arowolo Olorunwa (35) on a three-count charge of defilement of a child.
Iziejen had pleaded guilty while Jimoh and Olorunwa claimed innocence of the charges.
NAN reports that the trial of Jimoh and Olorunwa, who pleaded not guilty, will commence soon.
According to Mr Jide Boye, the Chief State Counsel, the convict committed the offence in 2017 at Orimedu Town, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.
According to him, the child is a 12-year-old primary five pupil.
“It was observed by her school authorities that she often returned late from her lunch break during school hours.
“Upon enquiry, the child admitted that Olorunwa has been having sexual intercourse with her during the break time.
“The head teacher of the school, probing further, reported the matter at the Akodo Police Station, Ibeju-Lekki.
“At the police station, the child also identified Jimoh and Iziejen as persons who also defiled her on a number of occasions during her break time.”
The prosecution revealed that Iziejen, in his statement to the police, admitted defiling the pupil on three occasions in his home.
NAN reports that on Feb. 15, during the facts and sentence for the case, Iziejen was convicted of defilement by the court.
During the facts and sentence proceedings, Boye had urged the court to allow justice take its course, and that a stiff punishment should be meted out to Iziejen, to send a clear message to the public.
“A situation where our children, especially the girl child, cannot freely move around even in schools, should be condemned by the state.
“The state will deal decisively with anyone found guilty of sexual offences.
“The victim/survivor should be reassured of justice, because the state has put the necessary facilities in place, to make sure that they are adequately protected,” Boye had said.
Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011, prescribes a mandatory life sentence for anyone found guilty of defiling a child.