The Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court on Tuesday, April 23, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, a 32-year-old software engineer, Chukwudi Anyanwu, who had unlawful sexual intercourse with his neighbour’s 13-year-old daughter.

According to the prosecution, the convict committed the offence on Children’s Day (May 27) in 2021, on Thomas Animashaun Street, Aguda, Surulere, Lagos State.

Justice Rahman Oshodi who sentenced the defendant held that the prosecution was able to prove the ingredient of defilement of a minor against Anyanwu.

The judge held that the survivor’s evidence was corroborated by the medical report and that of her guardian (name withheld).

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Justice Oshodi disregarded the testimonies of two police officers, ASP Iyabo Dawodu and Inspector Rebecca Osola-Jacob, who were called by the prosecution, saying they gave evidence for the defence instead of the prosecution which showed that their testimonies were tainted.

Justice Oshodi also held that the alibi and the issue of extortion which the convict relied on did not hold water.

According to him, the evidence presented in court against the convict had shown that he took advantage of the vulnerable 13-year-old girl who was living in the same compound as him.

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He said the convict exploited his position of familiarity and authority to lure the survivor into his room on Children’s Day, 2021, and subjected her to the harrowing ordeal of sexual abuse.

The judge also said the convict’s action had undoubtedly inflicted deep psychological wounds that might take a lifetime to heal.

“You have shown a troubling lack of integrity and remorse throughout the proceedings and when you were confronted by the victim’s guardian about the heinous act, you initially denied any wrongdoing.

“However, when the young brave victim repeated the details of your abuse in your presence, you resorted to begging for forgiveness, claiming it was the work of the devil.

“This attempt to evade responsibility and downplay the severity of your action is reprehensible.”

The judge observed that even more concerning was that the convict expressed his intention to bribe the police to suppress the case and protect his reputation.

“This blatant disregard for the law and attempts to pervert the course of justice is a serious aggravating factor that cannot be overlooked,” Oshodi said.

The judge further held that the impact of the convict’s actions on the survivor could not be overstated as he had robbed her of her innocence, shattered her trust, and left her with deep emotional scars. He said that the court must ensure that justice was served and that society received a clear message that such reprehensible acts would not be tolerated.

He said: “I hope this sentence brings some measure of closure and helps her on the path of healing.

“In line with the severe nature of the offence, the breach of trust involved, your lack of remorse, your attempt to pervert the course of justice and the long-lasting impact on the victim, I now sentence you, Chukwudi Anyanwu, to the mandatory life sentence under Section 137 of the Criminal Law (Supra).

“This sentence reflects the gravity of your actions and the need to protect vulnerable members of our society from predatory individuals like yourself.

“During your time in the custodial centre, I hope you reflect on the immense harm you have caused and take steps towards rehabilitation.”

Source: Blackgh.com

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