The High Court of Justice, Delta State, sitting at Asaba and presided over by Honourable Justice Onome Marshal-Umukoro, has convicted and sentenced a 35-year-old man, Idris Hassan, to life imprisonment for raping an 8-year-old girl.
The defendant was arraigned before the court on a one-count charge of rape, punishable under Section 218 of the Criminal Code Law Cap C21 Vol. 1 Laws of the Delta State of Nigeria 2006.
Hassan was alleged to have had unlawful carnal knowledge of a minor on August 22, 2022.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The prosecution led by Mrs. Patricia Uche Akamagwuna, Director of Sexual Offences, Domestic Violence and Childs’ Rights Unit in the Delta State Ministry of Justice, called six witnesses, and the tendered confessional statement of the defendant.
The prosecution told the court that the survivor was at home with her two elder siblings when the defendant, who is a gateman to their neighbour, lured her to come and “take biscuits”.
When she got there, the defendant forced himself on her. The survivor’s neighbour caught the defendant in the act and he was subsequently arrested by men of the Nigerian Police ‘B’ Division, Asaba.
The defendant, in his defence, however, denied the charge and retracted the confessional statement stating that there was no sexual contact between him and the survivor.
Delivering his judgement, Honourable Justice Onome Marshal-Umukoro held that he believed the evidence of the prosecution and that the prosecution had proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
The court, thereafter, convicted and sentenced the defendant to life imprisonment.
Speaking to the newsman, Mrs. P. U. Akamagwuna Director of Sexual Offences, commended the judges for a well delivered judgement.
She stated that the Ministry of Justice will continue to uphold the zero-tolerance policy and continue the prosecution, naming and shaming of all sex offenders in the state and its territory.
The convict, Idris Hassan has been registered in the Delta State Sex Offenders Register and their details uploaded to the national database.
This is in line with the provisions of the Violence Against Prohibition Persons Laws of Delta State, 2020.