In a landmark ruling, a Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court in Nigeria has sentenced a 42-year-old man, Suleiman Usman to life imprisonment for defiling his eight-year-old daughter.
Justice Rahman Oshodi convicted and sentenced Usman after finding him guilty of the offence, which contravened Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015, a Nigeria-based Punch Newspaper reports.
During the trial, the prosecution called four witnesses, including the eight-year-old victim, the Investigative Police Officer, the defendant’s wife (mother of the victim), and a medical doctor from Mirabel Centre.
The victim identified the convict as her father and narrated to the court how he defiled her repeatedly and warned her not to inform her mother.
She later told her teacher, who was close to her mother.
The defendant’s wife stated in her testimony that she went to her daughter’s school teacher to help her get information on why her daughter was not walking properly.
Usman, in his testimony, told the court that his wife lied against him because he wanted to relocate her to the village.
Justice Oshodi described Usman’s heinous act as taboo, animalistic, and cruel, saying, “Sulaiman Usman, what sexual pleasure did you want from your biological daughter? What you have done is taboo. It is animalistic and cruel. It is unacceptable, and you must be punished."
“Accordingly, I sentence you, Sulaiman Usman, to life imprisonment. Your name shall be registered as a sex offender in the Lagos State Sexual Offenders’ Register,” he pronounced.
The court held that the prosecution failed to prove the second charge against the convict, as the victim did not testify to the second charge related to her defilement.
However, on the first count, the court held that the survivor’s testimony corroborated that of the medical doctor.
The state government had arraigned Usman on two counts of defilement, to which he pleaded not guilty.
He was first arraigned before Justice Sybil Nwaka in October 2019 before the judge was elevated to the Court of Appeal, and the case file was reassigned to Justice Oshodi.