Justice Adenike Akinpelu of the Kwara State High court on Monday, July 31, 2023, sentenced three students to jail for conspiring to gang rape a 17-year-old girl.
The convicts, Omotosho Yahaya, 23, who is the cousin of the victim, Mustapha Ahmed, 23 and 22-year-old Mustapha Ridwan are students of a tertiary institution in the state.
The court found them guilty of a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and rape of the victim, at Adangba area of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital in 2020.
The first defendant, Omotosho, was said to have invited his two friends to join him in the act while he was with the victim in the room.
They were sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for rape and 2 years for criminal conspiracy.
The sentences, which include an additional N50,000 fine, are to run concurrently.
Delivering the judgement, Justice Akinpelu held that “The confessional statements of the defendants are clear, unambiguous and equivocal contrary to the argument of their counsel.
“The contents of their statement of the defendant is consistent with other evidence before the court. No Woman in her right senses will consent to and allow three men to have sex with her.
“Exhibit 1, (a plank) recovered from the scene of crime attested to the fact that the victim was threatened and rape coupled with other tests from a government hospital conducted on her.”
Though desirable, Akinpelu noted that “it is not in all cases that the absence of the victim in court due to certain circumstances can be relied upon to argue a case”.
She said while “It is bad enough that the convicts at their age will gang rape the victim, it is equally worse for them to be left scot free.”
She described their “claims that she owed them money as a fairy tale” and pronounced them “guilty as charged”.
Responding to the judgement, Prosecutor, Muslimat Suleiman, a principal counsel from the Kwara State Ministry of Justice, said the judge had done justice to the case having evaluated all the evidence before her.
On his part, the Director Office of the Public Defender, Ishola Saka Olofere who defended the first and second defendants, described the judgement as a “good one even though it was against us looking at the industry exhibited by the judge.”
“We pleaded with the court to be lenient since the convicts are still young with aged parents and are first offenders,” he added