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Court sends man to life imprisonment for defiling 8-year-old daughter


The Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court has sentenced a 42-year-old man, Sulaiman Usman, to life imprisonment for defiling his eight-year-old daughter.

Justice Rahman Oshodi sentenced Usman to life imprisonment after finding him guilty as charged.

In October 2019, the Lagos State Government had arraigned Usman before Justice Sybil Nwaka but following her elevation to the Court of Appeal, the case was reassigned to Justice Oshodi.

The defendant was subsequently rearraigned on a two-count charge bordering on defilement of his two daughters, aged eight and five, at his residence in the Apapa area of Lagos State.

The offence contravenes the provisions of Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

The defendant had pleaded not guilty and the prosecution subsequently commenced trial.

During trial, the prosecution called four witnesses: the first survivor, his 8 year-old daughter; the Investigative Police Officer (IPO); the defendant’s wife (the mother of the survivors); and a medical doctor from the Mirabel Centre (a sexual assault referral centre).

At the close of the prosecution’s case, the defence team called three witnesses, including the defendant who testified in his own defence.

The survivor in her testimony identified the defendant as her father. She narrated to the court how her father would take her into the living room “every night” and defile her.

The daughter said she told her teacher that she was left in pain after the assault.

She further testified that she informed her school teacher who is close to her mother because the defendant had warned and threatened her that she would die if she told her mother.

The survivor’s mother, in her testimony, narrated to the court how she discovered that her two daughters were defiled after she took them to the hospital.

She told the court that she sexually satisfied her husband, the defendant, and expressed bitterness that he could defile his own children.

But the defendant, in his testimony, told the court that his wife lied against him because he wanted her to relocate to the village. He said his wife concocted the lie because he wanted to marry another wife and feared that he would take the girls from her.

In his judgement, Justice Oshodi exonerated the defendant from the second count. The court held that the prosecution failed to prove that the defendant defiled the second survivor as no testimony was led in that regard.

On count one, the court held that the testimony of the first survivor was corroborated by the medical doctor. The court also held that the survivor’s evidence that she felt pain in her “bumbum” and that her father inserted his finger and penis in her genitals was believable.

The court said that it considered the ingredients of the offence: the confessional statement, the circumstantial evidence, and the eyewitness account.

“I do not believe that the first survivor was tutored. I reiterate that her evidence is credible,” the judge said.

“Regardless, I have already received eyewitness account of what happened, the prosecution also provided evidence of the medical doctor who examined the survivor which detailed the redness of the vagina lips, the anus which was loose and was starting to heal and the fact that there was penetration in the survivor’s anus.

“I am convinced that the medical doctor’s evidence corroborates that of the survivor. The mother has also said that the crime scene is their family parlour.

“I do not consider the defendant’s testimony as credible. I find the defendant guilty of count one.”

Justice Oshodi thereafter sentenced the defendant to life imprisonment.

“Mr Sulaiman Usman, you have been convicted of one count of defilement. The punishment for defilement is life imprisonment. It is so because society frowns on it. Further, sexual crimes against children are so prevalent that children no longer feel safe in their homes,” he said.

“Further still, our laws in Lagos State have zero tolerance for sexual crimes to send a signal to your gang of paedophiles that it is unacceptable.

“In your case, the victim is your child. The evidence shows that you put your penis in her vagina and anus, repeatedly. You also threatened her, so

she did not report it to her mother at first.

“The victim, who was eight at the time, could not walk properly because she had excruciating pains in her anus and vagina. Later, the medical evaluation revealed that the victim had injuries in her private part and anus. It was the result of the sexual intercourse you had with her.

“Mr Sulaiman Usman, what sexual pleasure did you want from your biological daughter? What you have done is taboo. It is animalistic and cruel. It is unacceptable, and you must be punished.

“Accordingly, I sentence you, Mr Sulaiman Usman, to life imprisonment. Mr Sulaiman Usman, your name shall be registered as a sex offender in the

Lagos State Sexual Offenders’ Register.”

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