Crime Watch

Court sentences 79-yr-old carpenter to life imprisonment over sexual assault of 12-year-old girl

The Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court in Ikeja, has sentenced a 79-year-old carpenter, Olagbade Jeremiah to life imprisonment for defiling a 12-year-old girl.

Justice Abiola Soladoye, while delivering judgment on Monday, March 4, held that the prosecution was able to prove the offence of defilement against the convict without reasonable doubt.

Lagos Director of Public Prosecutions, Olusola Soneye, arraigned Jeremiah on a count of sxxual assault by penetration preferred. He told the court that the offence committed contravened Section 261 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

According to Soneye, the incident took place in 2021 in the workshop of the convict in the Mammy Barracks Market in the Ojo area of Lagos State.

While delivering her judgment, Soladoye held that the victim testified that she used to hawk sachet water and that the convict used to buy every sachet water in her possession whenever she was not able to sell everything.

According to the judge, the victim stated in her testimony that she was given N100 by the convict every time he performed the act on her.

“He usually gave me money. Before he gives me the money, he removes my pants. Every time it happens, he gives me N100,” the girl recounted.

Justice Soladoye also stated that the victim did not inform anybody about the incident because she was afraid her mother would beat her. She said the victim’s mother beat her up when she found out and gave her sachet water to hawk.

“I could not tell my mother because she would beat me up. My pocket money was N30. So, anytime I went to him (the convict), he would give me N100,” the victim added.

According to Justice Soladoye, he initially denied knowing the victim, only through the mother of the victim. However, under cross-examination, he said he knew the victim.

The judge said; “He denied knowing the victim but admitted knowing her through her mother. He also denied having anything to do with the poor girl. Under cross-examination, he stated that the victim was known to him. He claimed not to understand the English language whereas he gave evidence in the English language before this honourable court.”

Justice Sholadoye described the defendant as a “pathological liar.” She convicted him and ordered that the convict’s name should be registered in the Lagos State S3xual Offences Register.