By Ayodele Popoola
A 37-year-old farmer, Joseph Agbomu, will spend the rest of his life behind the bars, having been handed life jail term on Thursday by an Akure High Court, for defiling his neighbour’s 6-year-old daughter.
Agbomu was charged with a case of rape on March 18, 2019, which he pleaded not guilty.
Delivering his judgment, Justice Yemi Fasanmi, held that the prosecution was able to prove the case of rape against the convict beyond reasonable doubt.
The court also held that the testimony of the survivor was convincing and truthful.
According to the judge, the convict inflicted physical, emotional and psychological trauma on the survivor, who saw a fatherly figure in him, as his father’s kinsman and friend.
The evidence of the survivor, he noted, corroborated the evidence of the nominal complainant, who is the father of the survivor.
“The survivor in this case narrated before this court that the convict who was his father’s neighbour, sent her on an errand to buy a pack of indomie.
“The survivor said the convict cooked the indomie and gave her part of it. And shortly after eating, he pushed her to his bed and inserted his penis into her vaginal.
Fasanmi added that the convict, in his extra judicial statement obtained on December 12, 2019, confessed to the commission of the crime.
The judge said Agbomu confessed to have had carnal knowledge of the survivor in his room, without using condom after taking an herbal alcholic drink.
According to the court, the child’s testimony was copiously corroborated by the convict’s confessional statement that he (Agbomu)had an unlawful sexual intercourse with her.
Earlier, the state counsel, T.L. Ogundare, informed the court that Agbomu raped the victim on September 12, 2018 at about 7:30pm at Ijebu, Owo Local Government.
The prosecutor said the offence contravened Sections 375, 378 of the Ondo State Criminal Code, 2006
Ogundare stated that the survivor’s father reported a case of rape against the defendant.
The prosecutor called three witnesses, which included the survivor, her father and a police officer.
Counsel to the defendant, A.Y Aliu, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, saying that no case of improper behaviour had ever been brought against the defendant .
Aliu further canvassed that the court should discountenance the medical report .
However, the state prosecutor argued that the law under which the defendant was charged does not give the court any discretion.
He, therefore, urged the court to impose the mandatory sentence stipulated in the law on the convict.
Justice Fasanmi, in his verdict, convicted Agbomu and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
He held, “The convict (Agbomu) is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment for the defilement of a child, to serve as a deterrent to other, who might engage in such act.