Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Eket has sentenced a 37 year-old man, Uduak Moses Idimudo to life imprisonment for raping two girls between 14 and 15 years who were hawking cow skin meat popularly known as ‘canda’ along the street in Efoi community.
The convict, a native of Efoi in Eket Local Government Area of the state was sentenced today by Justice Efiong Efiong, having found him guilty of 19 out of the 20 counts charge of rape.
One of the victims (name withheld) told the Court that she and her 14 year-old friend were hawking fried cow skin meat otherwise known as “canda” on the road in Efoi in July 2020, when the convict bought the meat worth N700 and asked them to accompany him to his room to get the money or they go and sell the meat and come back.
She said on their way home, they went back to the convict’s house as he directed them to get their money, but he insisted that they must follow him inside his room, which they obliged.
The first prosecution witness said the convict pushed her and her friend on his bed and forcefully removed their pants and inserted his penis inside their vagina and took turns to rape them and after, gave them N350 instead of the N700 balance he owed them.
The JSS 3 student also narrated how the convict told her and her friend to come back to his house for the balance but warned them not to tell their parents or anyone else about the rape, or else he will kill them.
She told the Court that they went home without telling their parents and one month after in August 2020, they went back to the convict’s house for the balance of their money and the convict again adopted the same method and took turn to rape each of them again, but this time around, he did not pay the debt, asking them to come back again.
The minors said the convict adopted the same procedure of raping them from July 2020 and April 2021, until one woman, a neighbour of the convict, who noticed the children on a monthly basis inside the house of the convict, reported to their parents.
In a one-hour judgment, the trial judge, Hon. Justice Efiong Efiong said he “believed the testimonies of PW 1 and PW 5 (the victims) as corroborated by the confessional statement of the defendant and the medical reports of evidence of forceful penetration of vagina of PW 1 and PW5.”
He described the defendant as “a despicable character who is worse than an untrained animal and does not deserve to be left free in the community of decent people.”
Justice Efiong held: “that the defendant could keep ripping two minors naked on his bed and raping them in their open view, shows that he is a dirty, wicked and satanic person, who has no regards for the law and morals.”
The Court also noted that “the offence of rape is now assuming an alarming frequency in the society and in Eket Judicial Division in particular.”
The State Prosecutor from the Ministry of Justice, Barrister Ime Ifon hailed the judgement, which she described as erudite that will serve as a deterrent to other rapists, who are yet to be caught by the long arm of the law.
The Defence Counsel, Barrister Victor Udeh also commended the Court for the judgment.