By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
Justice Abiola Soladoye of the Lagos State High Court, (Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court), Ikeja has sentenced a father, Adewale Ibitoye alongside his friend, Moses Orukpe, for defilement and impregnation of his 14-year-old daughter.
The court held that the prosecution established its case against the father, Ibitoye had sexual intercourse with her daughter before passing her to his friend for marriage.
The trial judge held that the prosecution had proved the charge of defilement against the convicts beyond any doubt.
The judge condemned the barbaric act of the first defendant for having sex with her underage daughter several times before passing her to her friend for a pseudo marriage, over a bottle of gin.
“The survivor testified that her father had sexual intercourse with her on several occasions and that her father gave her hand in marriage to the second convict after he visited their house and gifted her father, a bottle of gin.
“She said that the second defendant had sexual intercourse with her which led to pregnancy and the first defendant in his testimony, confirmed that he collected a bottle of gin from his friend as wedding rights.
“The testimony of the survivor was vivid and unshaken during cross-examination as the first prosecution witness, a pastor, testified before the court that the survivor lost the two-month-old baby due to lack of care and malnutrition.
“The testimony of the third prosecution witness, a Police Investigative Officer (IPO), also confirmed to the court that the survivor was 14 years when she started living with the second defendant as his wife and that he registered her in a local hospital in Ijebu-Ode while she was pregnant with the baby”, Justice Soladoye held.
The judge ruled that it was right before the court that a 14-year-old girl could not give consent in marriage and condemned the first defendant for engaging her daughter in the uncultured act.
She described the convicts as “Beast in human form” who should serve the remaining of their lives behind bars as they should not be seen among the sane in society.
“The first convict who had carnal knowledge of her own daughter is everything a father should not be. This is taboo and incest.
“He gave his underage daughter out in marriage to his friend for a bottle of gin. This is highly irresponsible of him as responsible fathers are out there giving the best of education to their children.
“The most pathetic is that the survivor was made to go through torture by making her go through pregnancy at such early age.
“This act is very embarrassing, shameful and animalistic. A father having sexual intercourse with her daughter and passing her to his friend at age 14 over a bottle of gin is unthinkable.
“The convicts are hereby found guilty as charged and hereby sentenced to life imprisonment,” the judge ruled.
Also, Justice Soladoye said the convicts should have their names written in the Lagos State Sexual Offenders Register.
The prosecution team, Mr Olusola Soneye and Ms Abimbola Abolade presented three witnesses during the trial while the defendants testified as sole witnesses in the case.
The prosecution said that the convicts committed the offence sometime in 2017 in Epe, Agbowa, Lagos, in violation of Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.