An Ikeja High Court in Lagos State on Wednesday sentenced a 33-year-old motorcyclist, Michael Ahmed, to life imprisonment for raping his 21-year-old passenger in an estate.
Justice Hakeem Oshodi held that the prosecution succeeded in proving the case against Ahmed beyond reasonable doubts.
Oshodi held: “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 clear evidence before the court that the defendant forced herself 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 or rape and serious assault against him.
“The court has clearly considered the allocutos presented by the defence counsel.”
However, the judge said the offence of rape is mandatory and the court had no power to pronounce a lesser offence.
Oshodi ruled: “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 he had been in detention.”
The defence counsel, Ramon Bashir, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, noting that the defendant had no prior criminal record.
Bashir said: “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 offences before today.
“My lord, the convict is pleading before the court to temper justice with mercy.”
NAN reports that during the trial, the victim, her 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 Lagos State prosecuting team members comprising of M.T. Adewuyi and A.A. Asiwaju, the defendant committed the offence on July 19, 2013 about 11:30pm at New Covenant Estate, Gaga in Ikorodu, Lagos.
The team argued that the victim was raped by the defendant on her way from church.
The offence, the prosecution said, contravenes the provisions of sections 172 and 258 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.