Driver bags life imprisonment for abducting and defiling 10-year-old

Justice Rahman Oshodi of a Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court sitting in Ikeja has sentenced a 24-year-old commercial driver, Abdul Hudu, to life imprisonment for defiling and abducting a 10-year-old girl (name withheld) for three days.

 

In her ruling, Justice Oshodi held that the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt the two-count charge of adduction and defilement against Hudu. The court sentenced the convict to two years imprisonment on count one while he was sentenced to life imprisonment on count two.

 

Oshodi, in his judgment, said that the facts of the case were distressing as Hudu cruelly abducted the 10-year-old survivor from the safety and care of her parents, for three agonising days.

 

“Her father could not eat and her mother cried incessantly, sick with worry over their missing child. The callous disregard you showed for a child’s well-being, and the emotional torment inflicted on her parents is shocking, and worse still, during those three days, you repeatedly defiled and sexually assaulted this vulnerable young girl at the tender age of 10.

She experienced unthinkable trauma and violation at your hands which no child should ever have to endure and her innocence was stolen.

Throughout this trial, you have shown no remorse; you lied blatantly in your testimony, denying the clear evidence against you, including your prior statement to the police. The web of falsehoods you spun to evade responsibility only compounded your culpability.” the judge ruled

 

Oshodi held that it was a severe case of child abduction and defilement and the law viewed the offences as deserving of severe punishment to reflect society’s abhorrence to punish the offender and to protect other children from suffering a similar fate. He held that the fact that the convict was a first-time offender did not deflect the preceding.

 

‘’In light of the gravity of the offences, the aggravating features, and the absence of remorse, I sentence you as follows: On count one, the offence of abduction contrary to section 141, I sentence you to two years imprisonment and it shall commence on the date of your arrest, July 23, 2019, as shown in exhibit A-A1.

On count two, the offence of defilement contrary to section 137, I sentence you to the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment and you shall also be registered as a sex offender. The sentences are to run concurrently, you will serve your custodial terms at the Maximum-Security Custodial Centre or wherever the Nigerian Correctional Service may direct you.”

 

The judge further said that through the convict’s wicked actions, he had brought the punishment upon himself.

 

“I hope you will use your time in custody to reflect and reform,” Oshodi said

 

During the trial, the state lead counsel, Babajide Boye, called three witnesses: the survivor, her father, and one Ms. Oluchi Nwoke-Okoi, a nurse with the Women at Risk International Foundation(WARIF) while the convict testified as the sole defence witness.

 

Certified copies of his extra-judicial statement dated July 23 2019 were received and marked as exhibit A-A1. The prosecutor had submitted that the convict committed the offences on June 30 2019 on Adekunle Street, Idi Araba, Mushin, Lagos. The prosecutor had told the court that the survivor was returning from an errand in the night when the convict hit her and put something on her face, causing her to lose consciousness and she woke up in his room.

 

According to the evidence before the court, the convict slept with the survivor multiple times over three days in different locations and after three days, he dropped her off near her house. She narrated the events to her father, who took her to the hospital and police station.

 

The prosecution told the court that as the convict could not be found, the father of the survivor placed a N50,000 bounty on the convict which subsequently led to his arrest.

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