Living Faith Church Member Jailed 20 Years For Defiling 12-Yr-Old Member

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Kemisola Oye 

A Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja earlier today (Wednesday 20 March 2024) convicted and sentenced a man, Dennis Okubiat, to 20 years imprisonment for raping a 12- year -old church member of the Winners Chapel for three months which caused urinary incontinence.

Justice Ismail Ijelu held that the victim had testified that she went for evangelism and in the process went to check on the convict who had not been coming to church after the pastor of her church said they should visit members that have not been seen in church for some.

The judge held that the victim testified that because she respected Okubiat as an elder of their church she went to check on him and then helped him to wash plates and clean his house.

The victim further testified that after she was done, the convict offered her Garri because she loved Garri so much.

“So he gave me garri and groundnut to drink and I slept off. When I woke up, I saw a white substance in my private part and I woke Okubiat up and asked him what happened to me, he said if I told anybody he would kill me.

“He did it severally for three months, and on 6 September, 20201, he came to my house and said we should do it, I said I don’t know what you have been doing to me, so he started shouting and calling me to come and do, that was how our neighbours heard and caught him.

“After he raped me whenever I sit down, my private part was always itching me and it made me look like a mad girl on the street. When I woke up in the morning, I was always wet, but during the day, I could control myself.

“This never happened to me before Okubiat raped me, I always woke up by myself at night to urinate, but after the rape, I’m not able to control myself, especially at night.”

Justice Ijelu also held that when the victim was cross-examined by the defence counsel, M. O. Kareem, about the white substance she saw on her private part, she repeated that the convict said if she told anybody that he would kill her and told her that the pastor of their church was a wicked man who does not care about anybody, saying that was why he stopped going to the church.

The judge further held that Okubiat didn’t deny the testimony of the victim, nor challenged it. He said he knew the girl and that he knew that she was a 12-year-old child.

In his defence, Okubiat said the victim came to his house because her mother was working in a hotel and she abandoned the victim and her other siblings and that he used to give the victim and her sisters food whenever they said they were hungry.

He also testified that he had known the victim’s family since the time they came into the community.

A nurse, Oluchi Nwoke-Okoi, a staff of the Women At Risk Foundation, also testified during the trial that the victim was brought to their office on 14 September 2021, by her relatives on account of the sexual defilement of a minor.

According to Nwoke-Okoi, the victim said when she entered his house, he offered her garri and groundnut and after she took two spoons she became drowsy and slept off.

“She mentioned that when she woke up she found herself naked and saw sperm on her body and the perpetrator threatened her not to tell anybody.

“She said he sexually assaulted her severally in June, July, and August 2021, but that he only raped her once on 6 September 2021, before he was arrested,” the witness said.

Nwoke-Okoi further told the court that the victim was examined by Dr Yejide Okungbaye, while she witnessed the examination and the medical report was issued to the Police referred the case to her organisation.

She said that in the report, there were mild bruises around the urethra of the vagina.

“There was redness in the labia, the hymen membrane was not intact and with that report on the vagina we found that there was blunt force penetration”, she said.

Justice Ijelu, in his judgment, held that the court accepts the entirety of the victim’s evidence as it collaborates with that of the medical report.

He said the prosecution led by the state counsel Babatunde Sunmonu, proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

“I accept the entirety of this evidence even though the defence tried to discredit it.

“The court finds that this piece of evidence by PW2 (victim)  unequivocally proved the ingredients of the offence of defilement.

“The act of Okubiat was premeditated, the victim was vulnerable and he took advantage of her.

“The court finds that the act of the convict harmed the victim as it has caused her extreme psychological impact and social impact,” the judge said.

“Okubiat is hereby sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, to run from the day he was arrested and remanded”, the judge held.

The convict was arraigned on 10 November 2022, before the court on a count of defilement of a child.

The incident occurred on 6 September 2021, at about 10 am, in Tomoron Village, Lagos Island.

Sunmonu told the court that Okubiat had unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor without her consent.

According to him, the offence committed contravened Section 137 of the criminal law of Lagos State 2015.

However, Oubiat pleaded not guilty to the charge against him.

Eighteen-Eleven Media

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