An Edo State Magistrates’ Court sitting in Igarra, Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of the state, on Wednesday sentenced a 31-year-old man, Sunday Akpeji, to nine years’ imprisonment without an option of fine for defiling a seven-year-old girl.
Akpeji is to serve his term at the Auchi Correctional Centre.
The convict, who was a security guard at the victim parents’ house, was found guilty of one count of unlawfully defilement of a minor.
Magistrate Nosa Musoe said pieces of evidence tendered in court were sufficient to convict Akpeji.
“The prosecutor’s evidence is overwhelming and l hereby find the defendant guilty and convict him accordingly. I, hereby, sentence the defendant to nine years in prison with hard labour and without any option of fine,” the magistrate said.
The prosecutor, Obeze Samuel, told the court that the convict committed the offence on August 19, 2019, when he was on night duty at the Ufa Quarter, along the Enwan/Ososo Road, Igarra.
According to the prosecutor, the offence is punishable under Section 218 of the Criminal Code, Cap 48, Vol. 11, Laws of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976, as applicable in Edo State.
Reacting to the judgment, the Executive Director, BraveHeart Initiative, the non- governmental organisation that reported the matter to the police, Priscilla Usiobaifo, lauded the conviction.
She, however, urged the state to “take urgent steps in the protection of our children, especially the girl child.”