By Sunmola Olowookere
A 61-year-old Pentecostal pastor, Pastor Famakinwa Ajayi has been sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for defiling his tenant’s daughter (name withheld) and subsequently got pregnant for him.
Prior to the judgement, the court was informed that the victim had given birth to the defendant’s baby.
In the suit No: AK/195C/2021 filed on behalf of the Ondo State Government by the State Ministry of Justice, the defendant was arraigned on a two count charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a child, contrary to Section 31(1)of the Child’s Rights Law of Ondo State and sexual abuse and exploitation contrary to Section 32 (1).
The charge was read to the defendant by the Registrar of Court in English and interpreted to him in Yoruba and he pleaded not guilty to the two count charge.
According to the facts of the case, Famakinwa Ajayi, a clergyman, was alleged to have repeatedly defiled anadolescent victim at his house in Ayede Ogbese township in Akure North Local Government area of Ondo State.
The family of the victim were tenants to Pastor Famakinwa. This made the teenage girl an easy prey for the defendant. After multiple rapes, the family had reported at the police station.
To prove its case, the prosecution led by Helen Falowo called four witnesses and tendered four exhibits during the trial. after the prosecution closed its case, the defence opened with the defendant testifying. The defense counsel called one other witness as DW1.
According to the first prosecution witness, (name withheld), the defendant had hoodwinked her on the pretext of delivering her from a spirit husband. This was after he had made the family to be attending night prayers at his apartment.
She testified further that “sometime in April, 2021, our landlord the defendant, told me that I was possessed with marine spirit and that he had arranged for prayers for me, He also told me that I needed deliverance. He later called me into his sitting room when no one was at home, locked the door, forcefully removed my pant telling me that he wanted to deliver me so that I can give birth to a child in future because my spirit husband does not want me to have any chid.
“He ordered me to lie down on a chair in the sitting room which I obeyed and had sexual intercourse with me. That was the first time that I had sexual intercourse. The defendant warned me not to tell anybody what happened and that if I tell anyone, bad things will happen to me, Thereafter, the defendant had sexual intercourse with me about four times. On one occasion he took me to the market square at about 9 p.m. and had sexual intercourse with me. I tried to shout for help, but he covered my mouth with his hand. During the intercourse, a boy who was unknown to me, saw us and flashed his torchlight at us. The defendant offered him some money, but the boy refused and slapped him. That was how I managed to escape and ran home to tell my mother I am presently pregnant for the Defendant.” She narrated.
The mother of the victim, while testifying before the court said that the defendant brought a keg of water and Goya oil for her daughter to always use so that the marine spirit in her will go away from her.
She further disclosed that her daughter told her about how Famakinwa had been raping her and threatened her not to tell anyone about it
She stated that ever since the defendant gave them the water and goya oil for her daughter to use, the young lady had not been herself.
“I later discovered that my daughter was pregnant and she told me that the defendant is responsible. The defendant has threatened to kill me and my daughter if we report the matter to the police,” she told the court.
Famakinwa on his part, confessed to have slept with the child once in his living room before he was charged to court while he was testifying before the court.
Delivering judgement on the matter, Justice Yemi Fasanmi of the Akure High Court held that the prosecution proved the case against the defendant beyond reasonable doubt.
He discharged and acquitted the defendant on Count 2 but found him guilty on Count 1 .
He convicted and sentenced him to 18 years imprisonment.”
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