By Itohan Abara-Laserian, Ikeja.
An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Thursday slammed a 37-year jail term on a man, Moses Joseph, for defiling a minor.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, in her judgment, said that from the substantial evidences presented before the court, the court found the defendant guilty of the crime.
The judge, after listening to the allocutus of the defence counsel, asked the defendant if he had anything to say to the court and he prayed for mercy.
Taiwo ruled: “The substantial evidences are overwhelming. Therefore, I find the defendant guilty of all counts.
“I have listened to the allocutus for the defence and on the first count, I sentence you to seven years’ imprisonment and on the second count, I sentence you to 30 years’ imprisonment, which will run concurrently.”
Earlier, in the allocutus, defence counsel, Henry Obidinna, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy and for a light sentence, “as the convict was a first time offender”.
He also noted that the convict had been cooperative since his arrest in September 2021 and had been remorseful.
Obidinna said that the convict was the breadwinner of his family, adding that his younger brother died from shock when he heard of his arrest.
He added that the trial had been kept away from the convict’s aged mother.
The Lagos State, which is prosecuting the case, did not object to the judgment.
The prosecution had alleged that the defendant, on Sept. 17, 2021, about 11:00 p.m., indecently treated the minor by inserting his finger in her private part.
It said that the incident, which took place at No. 25, Kadiri Street, Alausa, Ikeja, contravened the provisions of Sections 135, 137, Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.