A High Court in Ado Ekiti has handed a life imprisonment to a former Vice Principal of St. Mary’s Girls Grammar School, Ikole-Ekiti, Taiwo Ajayi, after finding him guilty of raping a 12-year-old in 2014.
The convict was the Vice Principal (Academics) at the time he committed the offence on March 18, 2014.
The court said Mr. Ajayi committed the offence against Section 31(2) of the Child Rights Law of Ekiti State 2012.
Mr. Ajayi reportedly lured the girl into his office, locked the door from behind and raped her on the table while covering her mouth with a piece of cloth.
A teacher had knocked on the door while Mr. Ajayi was carrying out the act, but he refused to open the door, and warned his victim not to tell anybody.
Two of the school teachers were, however, said to have forced the door open after 30 minutes and caught Mr. Ajayi in the very act.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Oluwatoyin Abodunde held that the prosecution had proved the case beyond every reasonable doubt on the strength of evidence placed before the court.
The prosecution was led by A.E. Arogundade of the Ministry of Justice while the defence was led by Sule Longe.
The convict was first arraigned in court on October 14, 2016 and he pleaded not guilty to the charge.
“The cases of child defilement has 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 judge said.
“The defence counsel is pleading for leniency and praying for fine instead of the 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 instant. 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 include a medical report, statement of the accused, report of the panels set up by the school authorities and Teaching Service Commission, medical report from the police clinic, statement of the victim, among others.
The two panels set up to investigate the matter indicted Mr. Ajayi which led to his suspension from service after which he was arrested and arraigned to face the charge.