•60-yr-old suspect: l lure victims with meat pie
By Dayo Johnson & Daud Olatunji
This is the story of men who allegedly sexually assaulted girls old enough to be their granddaughters.
Whereas it took two years before justice came, the parents of a three-year-old girl, who was defiled in Oke Ijebu area of Akure, Ondo State capital by a man in his 60s, have heaved a sigh of relief after the assailant was sentenced to two years in prison.
*Police claim suspect, Tugbobo, confessed to defilementIn the second case, another man in neighbourhood Ogun State, also in his 60s, has been accused of defiling two girls.
He confessed to committing the alleged crime to the police.
The arrest of the septuagenarian, Sunday Tugbobo, reportedly followed a complaint lodged by one John Oru, resident at No 10, Ondo Road, Ijebu-Ode and father of one of the girls.
The complainant, who reported the incident at Igbeba Divisional Headquarters, it was learnt, told detectives that the suspect, who allegedly had carnal knowledge of his seven-year-old daughter, was his co-tenant.
In the Akure case, a welder, Ezekiel Akpan, in his early 20s, was sentenced to two years imprisonment by a High Court for indecent assault of a three-year-old girl.
Akpan was a tenant in the house owned by the victim’s grandmother.
The convict, who was arraigned in May 2017, had been in police custody since October 2016, when he was alleged to have committed the offence of indecent assault, although he was initially dragged to court on a rape charge.
Delivering judgment, Justice Samuel Bola said the victim had testified before the police thus: “I am in KG 1. Daddy AK put a stick in my bombom, it was painful”.
Justice Bola went on: “Although the medical examination points to the fact that there had been indecent assault on the child’s private part, the testimonies and the medical report furnished by the prosecution before the court had shown that penetration was not established”.
Giving evidence earlier, the mother of the victim, Fayoke Aro, had told the court that the accused person raped her daughter in their room.
Led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, O.F Akeredolu, the defendant said that, on October 16, 2016 when he was alleged to have committed the offence, he had just arrived from a journey.
Akpan said he had rushed to the house to pick some instrument with which to fix his motorcycle which had developed fault.
Denying the allegation, he said, “The grandmother of the victim and the mother had been picking quarrels with me because they demanded another payment of rent when the current one had not lapsed”.
According to him, on his way to the house, he met another tenant, Bobola, who begged him to take him to Ijapo on his motorcycle, a request he said he obliged.
Akpan told the court that, instead, the tenant took him to the police station where detectives took his pictures with the victim and wrote a statement for him and asked him to sign.
He narrated, “I pleaded that they should allow me to call my brother but they refused. l also refused to sign the statement as none of my family members was there”.
During cross examination, he insisted that he had not raped anyone or appended his signature to any statement.”
The defense counsel, Olusola Oke, objected to the admissibility of the document as, according to him, it was against the Administration of Criminal Justice Law which states that the statement of any suspect must be obtained with due representation of his choice and also on the grounds that his client denied being the maker of the document.
The prosecution, however, said the denial was not enough grounds to affect the admissibility of the document and the court subsequently admitted the statement as evidence.
Delivering verdict after the defense had closed its case, the judge said that the prosecution must be able to prove that there was penetration before a case of rape could be established.
Justice Bola, therefore, found the accused guilty of indecent assault, noting that a case of rape could not be proved against him.
According to him, the punishment for the crime is two years imprisonment
“There was need to establish that there had been a penetration before rape charge could be established and that where there was no penetration, it could only be termed indecent assault”, he added.
In the Ogun incident, the spokesperson for the state Police Command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said that the landlady of the house where one of the girls resided caught the suspect in the act and informed the police.
“It was after the landlady raised the alarm that the other girl, who is eight years old, also accused the man of having done the same thing to her earlier”, Oyeyemi said.
“Following the report, the Acting DPO, Igbeba Division, SP Onah Lawrence, sent detectives to the scene where the randy suspect was arrested.
“On interrogation, the suspect confessed to the commission of the crime. He also admitted that he lured the two minors to his room with meat pie at different times where he had carnal knowledge of them.
“The two victims had been taken to Ijebu-Ode General Hospital for medical examination.
“Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, CP Ahmed Iliyasu, has ordered the immediate transfer of the suspect to the Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Labour Unit of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation and prosecution”.