A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja on Wednesday 13tn April 2022 sentenced a 33-year-old motorcyclist, Michael Ahmed to life imprisonment for raping his passenger.
The survivor was 12-year-old while the convict was 24-year-old at the time he committed the offences in 2013.
Justice Hakeem Oshodi, in his judgement, said that the prosecution had succeeded in proving the case against the defendant beyond reasonable doubts.
“The evidence of the victim is concise and clear while the defendant’s evidence is distorted before the court. He tried to distort the facts in the timing of the incident, how he got to the police station and the name he was called on the day of the incident.
“There is clear evidence before the court that the defendant forced himself on the victim. There is also proof before the court that the defendant bit the survivor on the shoulder.
“The defendant is hereby convicted of the two-count charge of rape and serious assault against him.
“The court has considered the allocutos presented by the defence counsel. However, the offence of rape is mandatory and the court has no power to pronounce a lesser offence.
“The defendant is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment which is the statutory sentence for rape and three years jail term for serious assault. This should take effect from 25th July 2013 when he was remanded in detention,” the court held.
The defence counsel, Mr Ramon Bashir, in his allocutus, had pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, noting that the defendant had no prior criminal record.
“My Lord, the convict is a young man who I believe has turned over a new leaf. It is evident before the court that he never committed any offence before today. My Lord, the convict is pleading before the court to temper justice with mercy,” he said.
During the trial, four witnesses- the survivor, her father, an Investigative Police Officer (IPO) and a medical doctor from the Ikorodu General Hospital testified for the prosecution while the convict, his sister and a vigilante, who knew the defendant, testified for the defence.
According to the Lagos State prosecuting team comprising of Mr M.T. Adewuyi and Ms A.A. Asiwaju, the defendant committed the offence on 9th July 2013, about 11.30 p.m. on New Covenant Estate, Gaga in Ikorodu, Lagos.
The team said that the survivor was raped by the defendant, while she was on her way from church.
They said the survivor and her two sisters were at Gbaga Bus Stop when they beckon on the defendant to take them to the house.
The defendant could not take the three of them at once. As a result of that, the survivor told the defendant to drop her two sisters off first at home and return to pick her up.
The prosecution submitted that the defendant told the survivor he was trying to avoid police at the estate and diverted into another route. He pretended that the bike was faulty and the survivor got down from the bike to check what was wrong.
They further said the defendant bounced on the survivor, strangled her, hit her head in the mud and raped her. The survivor fought back but he bit her on the shoulder and threatened to kill her if she did not allow him to have his way.
The prosecutors further said that the defendant was arrested in his house and taken to the police station by the security of the estate after the survivor narrated her ordeal to them.
The offence contravenes Section 172 and 258 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.