Dr. Fred Ayokhai, a senior lecturer in the Department of History and International Studies at the Federal University, Lafia, has been sentenced to six months imprisonment by a High Court sitting in Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, on Thursday.
Ayokhai, who has been in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Service, Lafia since October 22, 2022, was convicted for conspiracy and assault on a 20-year-old orphan, Blessing Mathias, after consenting to a plea bargain agreement.
He was first arraigned in court, alongside three others before the State Chief Judge, Justice Aisha Aliyu, where the case was assigned to Justice Solomon Ayenajeh of the High Court, Obi.
The other suspects are Emmanuella Ayokhai, Bob-Praise Ayokhai and Saint-Dan Ayokhai, as the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants respectively, who are all the lecturer’s children, while the 5th defendant, Vera Ogbonnaya, is still at large.
They were charged on amended two-count bothering on criminal conspiracy and physical assault with canes and sticks, contrary to sections 96 and 264 and punishable under sections 97 and 265 of the Northern Nigeria’s Penal Code (1963), respectively.
Delivering the judgement on Thursday, the presiding judge, Justice Ayenajeh, convicted the lecturer and sentenced him to jail for six months for criminal conspiracy and another six months for physical assault.
However, the presiding judge said that the sentences will run concurrently in consideration of his plea.
Justice Ayenajeh explained that the six months period, which Ayokhai had spent in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Service will be reckoned with.
For the children, the presiding judge said they will spend six months on probation, considering their age.
The judge added that, within the six months period, they will be tasked with the responsibility of keeping the premises of the Nasarawa State High Court clean and will also be of good conduct, while the third defendant, Bob-Praise Ayokhai was admonished to shave his dreadlocks.