By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA—An Ogun State High Court sitting at Isabo, Abeokuta, yesterday sentenced a retired soldier, Alabi Ibrahim, to life imprisonment for raping his 10-year-old step-daughter and infecting her with Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV.
In his judgement, Justice Abiodun Akinyemi said the accused faced a one-count charge of having sexual intercourse with the child. The offence, he said, was contrary to Section 3 of Child Rights Law.
The judge said the court was convinced that the allegation against the accused had been proved beyond reasonable doubt.
Akinyemi said further that the victim’s testimony, during cross examination, showed that she was telling the truth and not tutored and that there was concrete evidence that the victim was sexually assaulted, having also lost count on number of times the convict assaulted her.
The judge stated: “The court is convinced about the girl’s evidences; she is intelligent, she remained consistent during cross examination. She does not seem to have been tutored.
“I find her evidence credible. Evidence of her mother corroborated her own.”
Akinyemi also made reference to a medical report, which stated that the accused infected the girl with HIV, stressing that the convict’s action had brought a permanent stigma on the innocent girl.
The judge explained that evidence of the medical report did not suggest that the girl had earlier been sexually assaulted as alleged by the convict.
It would be recalled that the convict committed the crime in 2012 in his home, where himself, the victim and her mother lived.
It led to his subsequent arrest and trial, following the intervention of Ogun State chapter of Child Protection Network, CPN, an umbrella body of non-governmental organisations, NGOs.