By Kunle Akinsola
For raping his teenage daughter, a 58-year old farmer, Yesiru Onajobi, has been sent to jail for a term of 10 years in Lagos.
The convict, a resident of Bogije Street in Ibeju in Lekki area of Lagos, was charged to court in 2011 on a two-count charge of having carnal knowledge of his 13-year-old daughter.
Justice Muslim Hassan of a Federal High Court, who pronounced the sentence, noted the rising cases of rape in the society, and ordered that the convict would serve 10 years imprisonment without an option of fine.
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) which prosecuted the man, had told the court that after the death of Onajobi’s wife, he took custody of his only daughter while her brother was given to his relations to look after.
The convict kept her and had several sexual escapades with her, shared the same bed with her and restrained her movements and interaction with neighbours, the prosecutor said.
Although the convict had pleaded not guilty to the charge, the case suffered some setbacks and adjournments as he had no lawyer to represent him in court for several months while he was in prison.
The trial subsequently commenced after a lawyer was provided from the Legal Aid Council.
Justice Hassan expressed worry at high rate of rape, defilement, assault and sexual abuse of the girl-child which he said, had become prevalent in the society.
“The issue for determination as formulated by counsel can be summed into one, and that is whether the prosecution has proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
“Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is not proof beyond any shadow of a doubt; once an ingredient of the offence is proved, it is sufficient proof,” he said.
Hassan held that it was difficult to disbelieve the evidence of the victim who he said gave a vivid account of the incidences, adding that her testimony remained constant at all times.
“The evidence of PW1 was consistent both in her examination-in-chief and under cross-examination.
“PW2 also corroborated this evidence and the defendant did not produce any evidence to prove his denial.’’