By Onozure Dania
Justice Abiola Soladoye of an Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court, Lagos State, on Tuesday, sentenced an Islamic teacher, Adam Farouk, to life imprisonment for defiling eight pupils in his class.
Farouk defiled the pupils, who were between the ages of six and 11, between November 2018 to February 2019 on Balogun Street, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The convict was arraigned on eight counts of sexual assault preferred against him by the Lagos State Government.
While delivering judgment, Justice Soladoye stated that the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt the ingredients of the eight counts bordering on sexual assault by penetration.
Soladoye described the convict as morally corrupt and an embarrassment to the Islamic faith.
The judge held that the testimony of the survivors was consistent and truthful, adding that their demeanor during trial showed that they were not lying.
She said the evidence of the pupils was corroborated as they identified the convict as their teacher who penetrated their private parts with his index fingers.
Soladoye held that the evidence of the 10th prosecution witness, a midwife with the Women at Risk International Foundation, Mrs Oluchi Nwoke-Okoi, revealed that the pupils had vaginal injuries.
The judge further held that the defendant asked the pupils to turn their backs while he defiled them one after the other.
Justice Soladoye held that the convict lied to the court during trial but that the court did not fall for his lies.
She said, “The demeanour of the defendant is nothing to write home about; his stony face appears mischievous; he is extremely unkind and ruthless, fingering his students with his index fingers.
“What an Islamic teacher, who took undue advantage of poor students in Islam and messed around with their purity and dignity.
“He is meant to teach his students morals, discipline and values, but alas, the reverse is the case.
”The dignity and safety of our students must be cherished. Dirty Islamic teacher of his kind must be locked away and made to pay for his dirty sexual indiscretions.”
The judge called on the Lagos State Government to adequately monitor educational institutions.
She also urged Muslim communities to regularly visit Islamic schools unannounced and get feedback firsthand from students and parents on the activities and conduct of their teachers.
“The need for this can never be overemphasised in view of the rampant scenes of this heinous crime.
“I salute the courage of the survivors for speaking up against the defendant without any fear of intimidation.
“Abused children are to be encouraged to speak up so that their assailants will be shamed and sanctioned accordingly.
“A teacher is a role model, setting the pace and leading by example as he is expected to impact knowledge and morals, but this defendant is nothing of such as he threw caution to the wind and messed around.
“On the testimonies of each of the prosecution witnesses and that of the sole defence witness, I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the prosecution has proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.
“The defendant is hereby convicted of all the charges and sentenced to life imprisonment on each of the eight counts, but the sentences shall run concurrently,” Soladoye held.
The judge also ordered that the convict should have his name written in the Sexual Offenders Register of Lagos State.
The prosecution called 10 witnesses during the trial while the defendant testified as the sole defence witness.