An Ado-Ekiti High Court has sentenced one Mr Taiwo Ajayi to life imprisonment for raping a 12-year-old girl.
Ajayi was convicted after the court found him guilty of raping the minor, an offence contrary to Section 31(2) of the Child Rights Law of Ekiti State 2012.
The convict was the Vice Principal (Academics) of St. Mary’s Girls Grammar School, Ikole-Ekiti, at the time he committed the offence on March 18, 2014.
He was said to have lured the girl into his office, locked the door from behind and raped her on the table while covering her mouth with a cloth.
One of the teachers knocked at the door but Ajayi refused to open the door and threatened her not to tell anybody.
Two other teachers also stormed the office but found out that the door was locked. They later gained entrance after about 30 minutes and discovered that the vice principal had had carnal knowledge of the girl.
Ajayi was first arraigned in court on October 14, 2016, and he pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Handing down the judgement, Justice Oluwatoyin Abodunde held that the prosecution had proven the case beyond reasonable doubt on the strength of evidence placed before the court.
The prosecution was led by Mr. A.E. Arogundade of the Ministry of Justice while the defence was led by Mr. Sule Longe.
Justice Abodunde said: “The cases of child defilement have been on the increase lately and to serve as a deterrent to others, my view is that the punishment stipulated by the lawmakers was deliberate to deter the offence and protect the right to dignity of the child. The defence counsel is pleading for leniency and praying for fine instead of due punishment, my question is who pays the victim for the lifetime scar of the trauma and torture of rape? I am unable to deviate from the provisions of the law in this instance. The defendant is found guilty as charged and sentenced to life imprisonment.”
The prosecution called eight witnesses including a medical practitioner from the State University Teaching Hospital, police officers who investigated the case, two other pupils and a teacher in the school.
Exhibits tendered also include a medical report, statement of the accused, report of the panels set up by the school authorities and Teaching Service Commission, a medical report from the Police Clinic and a statement from the victim among others.
The two panels set up to investigate the matter indicted Ajayi which led to his suspension from service after which he was arrested and arraigned to face the charge.