For raping a 35-year-old woman, identified as Alice Ozar, in Efon Alaaye area of Ekiti state, a 19-year-old man, John Julius, has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Handing him the sentence on Monday, at the Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti, Justice John Adeyeye, held that Julius was convicted for rape which is contrary to Section 357 and punishable under Section 358 of Criminal Code Cap 16 Laws of Ekiti State of Nigeria 2012.
National Daily learnt that the convict raped the woman on the 16th July, 2016 at Okemesi Road in Efon Alaaye and was first arraigned in court on March 7 this year prior to today’s judgment.
Explaining how she was raped, the victim told the court that she was in her farm working when the convict pretended to assist her do some work in the farm which she obliged.
Ozar added that in the process, Julius kicked her from behind and she fell to the ground and he immediately pinned her down, forcibly tore her pant and had sex with her.
Even though he pleaded not guilty to the charges of rape and assault, the prosecution called three witnesses including the victim to prove the case while exhibits including the convict’s statement and victim’s pant were tendered and admitted.
To claim his innocence, Julius called his mother as a witness and also defended himself orally during the trial.
Justice Adeyeye held: “Unfortunately it will appear I have no discretion on the issue of sentence in view of the decision of the Supreme Court in Lucky v State (Supra) where it was held thus: ‘Any person who commits the offence of rape be liable to imprisonment for life.
“Once the court convicts an accused person for the offence of rape as defined in Section 357 of the Code, it has no discretion but is bound to obey the law by imposing a term of imprisonment for life.
“Consequently, the defendant is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment.”