By BENJAMIN OMOIKE
A 33-year-old motorcyclist, Michael Ahmed, has been sent to life imprisonment for raping a 21-year-old passenger.
The convict was handed down the judgement by the trial judge, Justice Hakeem Oshodi, at the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja.
Justice Oshodi, in his judgement, said that the prosecution had succeeded in proving the case against the defendant beyond reasonable doubts.
The prosecution held that the survivor was 21 years old, while the convict was 24 years old at the time he committed the offence in 2013.
The judge said, “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 a 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.
According to Justice Oshodi, “The court has clearly 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 July 25, 2013, that he had been in detention.”
The defence counsel, Mr. Ramon Bashir, in his allocutus, 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 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,” Bashir said.
Throughout the trial, four witnesses – the survivor, the survivor’s father, an investigative police officer 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 State’s prosecutor, Mr. M. T. Adewuyi and his team, the defendant committed the offences on July 9, 2013, about 11:30 p.m. in New Covenant Estate, Gaga in Ikorodu, Lagos.
Trouble started for the defendant when he raped the survivor while she was on her way from church.
On the day of the incident, the survivor and her two sisters were at a Berger Bus Stop when they called the defendant to carry them to the house.
But the defendant could not carry the three of them at once. As a result of that, the survivor told the defendant to drop her two sisters first at home and come back to pick her.
The prosecution said that the defendant told the survivor he was trying to avoid the police at the estate and diverted into another route.
He then pretended that the motorcycle was faulty and the survivor got down from the bike to check what was wrong.
The prosecution further said the defendant pounced on the survivor, strangled her, hit her head in the mud and raped her, while the survivor fought back but he bit her on the shoulder and threatened to kill her if she did not allow him have his way.
Following the act, the defendant was arrested in his house and taken to the police station by the estate’s security after the survivor narrated her ordeal to them.
The offence contravenes Section 172 and 258 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.
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