Following the recent ruling by the Court in Lagos State, an 8-year-old girl who was defiled by her biological father, Suleiman Usman, may have finally received justice.
Usman was found guilty of raping his 8-year-old daughter, and a Lagos State Sexual Offenses and Domestic Violence Court sentenced him to life in prison.
Usman was found guilty on two counts of defiling his two daughters, ages 8 and 5, in their home in the Onisewo neighborhood of Apapa, Lagos, and was given a life sentence by the presiding judge, Justice Rahman Oshodi.
When the individual was charged in court, the State Prosecutor said that the offenses violated the provisions of Section 137 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2015.
However, he pleaded not guilty.
Usman was first arraigned before Justice Sybil Nwaka on October 2019 before the judge was elevated to the Court of Appeal and the case file was reassigned to
Justice Oshodi’s Court, where he was re-arraigned on two counts of charge.
During the trial, the prosecution called four witnesses among who were the first survivor, the 8-year old girl, the Investigative Police Officer (IPO), the defendant’s wife (the mother of the survivors), and the medical doctor from Mirabel Centre.
After the closure of the prosecution case, defence opened his case. Three witnesses including the defendant gave evidence before the Court.
However, Justice Oshodi exonerated the convict of the second charge.
The Court held that the prosecution failed to prove the second charge against the defendant as the second survivor did not testify to the second charge related to her defilement.
On count one, the Court held that the testimony of the first survivor corroborated that of the medical doctor. Justice Oshodi said that he has considered the ingredients of the offences, the confessional statement, circumstantial evidence, and the eyewitness account in sentencing the father to life imprisonment.
He said, “Our society is prone to sexual abuse, sexual crime against children is so prevalent. Our laws in Lagos have zero tolerance for your gang of pedophiles; that is not acceptable. In your case, the survivor is your daughter. You put your penis in her vagina and her anus, the survivor was 8 years at the time because she had excruciating pain”.
“You are hereby convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment,” the Court ruled.
He was taken to Correctional Centre at Kirikiri town, where he will spend the rest of his life in custody.