An Ekiti State High Court, sitting in Ado Ekiti has sentenced Martins Ifebuchi (32) and John Joseph (19) to seventeen years imprisonment each.
The defendants were sentenced on two counts of conspiracy and rape of a 15-year-old girl on 8th May 2021 in Ajilosun Area of Ado Ekiti the state capital.
In her recorded statement, the victim said, ”the first defendant and her mother were both tenants in the house, adding that her mother used to travel to buy goods to take care of her and the brother, she said, Martins has been using that opportunity to be sleeping with her, the victim said, there was a bloodstain on her mother’s bed, the first day he forcefully had sexual intercourse with her and warned her not to tell anybody, if she does she will die.
”Thereafter, the second defendant (John) came on holiday to his brother’s (Ifebuchi) house, he also joined Martins in raping her.
”When she could not bear it anymore, she explained to her mother but instead of her mother to raise an alarm, she did not, she pretended to have travelled as usual, when she was sleeping around 9:00pm on that day, they defendants entered their room, they were in the process of undressing her when her mother entered and caught them, they were arrested and handed over to the police, she concluded.
To prove his case, the prosecution counsel, Kola Kolade called three witnesses and tendered a medical report, statements of the victim and defendants, attestation form among others as exhibits while Otunba Sunday Ochayi counsel to the defendants called five witnesses including the defendants.
In his judgment, Justice Adeniyi Familoni said, ”the offence of rape is a heinous crime, an act of utmost inhumanity which is devastatingly damaging. It becomes worse when a victim is a person of tender years, as in this case.
”The defendants deserve such punishment that should serve as a deterrent to others with similar tendencies.
”Conclusively, I hold that the prosecution has successfully proved the alleged offences of conspiracy and rape against the defendants beyond a reasonable doubt, as required by law.
”Consequently, the defendants are found guilty of the offences of conspiracy to rape and rape of the fifteen-year-old girl on the 8th of May, 2021.
The defendants are each sentenced to seven (7) years imprisonment on the count of conspiracy and ten (10) years imprisonment each on the count of rape without an option of fine. The sentences are to run concurrently with effect from the date of his judgment.
In his reaction after the judgment, Otunba Sunday Ochayi said, he will study the verdict and weighting the possibility and option of appealing the judgment.