Man jailed 14 years for attempted sexual assault on minor

An Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court has sentenced a man, Odigoma Ude, to 14 years imprisonment for attempting to sexually assault a 13-year-old physically impaired boy.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Justice Rahman Oshodi held that the testimonies of the boy, the Investigative Police Officer and the medical doctor corroborated.

Oshodi said the boy had in his evidence told the court how he knew the convict and that he took him to a bar, bought him a soft drink and meat.

He said the survivor further testified that after they left the bar, the convict took him to a nearby bush, a secluded place around Alaba Market wherein he showed him pornographic content on his phone and started licking his penis.

The court held that though the prosecution had charged the convict with sexual assault by penetration, the evidence before the court, however, established an attempt to commit sexual assault by penetration.

The court held that there was no tear or laceration from the private part of the survivor as shown by the medical report.

He said: “The penetration was not complete of course, the evidence established an attempt to commit sexual assault by penetration in which the prosecution has established beyond reasonable doubt.

“I have considered all the evidence presented in this case and I hereby find the defendant guilty and convict him under Section 262 of Criminal Law.

“The defendant was initially charged with the offence of sexual assault by penetration under Section 261, which attracts a life sentence but the court found that the evidence established an attempt rather than a complete offence.

“Section 262 prescribes a term of 14 years imprison for an attempt to commit sexual assault by penetration.”

The judge held that the facts of the convict’s offence were appalling and his victim was a highly vulnerable thirteen-year-old child who suffered from hearing and speech impairments.

Oshodi said the convict exploited his vulnerability, lured him to a secluded area, exposed him to pornography and tried to penetrate his anus with his penis.

“When you could not achieve penetration, you proceeded to lick his penis.

“These predatory actions constitute a severe violation of a child who could not consent and was powerless to resist due to his disabilities.

“Most concerning is your lack of remorse or acceptance of responsibility and rather than acknowledging the gravity of your offence, you concocted an implausible claim that one Edmund Okoye, who was not a witness and had no connection to this case, somehow set you up.

“This demonstrates a failure to grasp the depravity of your conduct and its traumatic impact on a defenseless child,” he said.

The judge said he saw no basis to depart from the starting point of 14 years imprisonment prescribed by statute, considering the seriousness of the offence, the victim’s extreme vulnerability and lack of remorse from the convict.

Oshodi, therefore, sentenced Ude to 14 years in prison and ordered that his name be registered as a sex offender.

“The term is to run from the date of your remand, September 1, 2021.

“This sentence sends a clear message that sexual exploitation of society’s most vulnerable members, especially children with disabilities, will be met with condign punishment.

“I can only hope that during your period of incarceration, you will come to appreciate the enormity of the harm you inflicted on an innocent child for your perverse gratification,” he said.

NAN reports that the state counsel, led by Babajide Boye, presented five witnesses while the convict testified as a sole witness.

The prosecution submitted that the convict committed the offence between May 2021 and August 2021 in Ilufe Area of Ojo, Lagos.

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