An Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court on Wednesday sentenced a clearing and forwarding agent, Opeyemi Olasehan, to life imprisonment for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old schoolgirl inside a commercial bus.
Justice Abiola Soladoye held that prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt the charge of sexual assault by penetration against Olasehan.
Ms Soladoye said that testimony of the minor/survivor was corroborated with a medical report and evidence from prosecution witness two (PW2), the survivor’s father.
She said: “The survivor said that, on her way to school, she stopped a commercial bus, but it was full, and the defendant offered to ‘lap’ her.
“She said she suddenly screamed out that the defendant inserted his finger into her vagina.
“The bus passengers ordered the driver to drive to a nearby police station and the defendant was arrested.
“Under cross-examination, evidence of the survivor was found to be truthful as she was taken to a hospital where medical examination was conducted on her.”
She held that there was no ambiguity in the testimony of the PW2, who told the court that, coincidentally, a teacher from the school of her daughter, who was in the commercial bus, witnessed what happened.
She added that a medical report from Mirabel Medical Centre revealed reddened vagina, which was in keeping with forceful vaginal penetration.
According to her, the medical report and the defendant’s confessional statement were admitted in evidence without any objection from the defence.
“The survivor said she felt a sharp pain in her vagina and she shouted.
“The defendant, in his testimony, denied the offence, but he admitted making a statement which was admitted in evidence as exhibit P.
“To the mind of this court, the defendant’s statement and evidence are contradictory.
“The defendant, in truth, inserted his finger into the survivor’s vagina and the medical report is a pointer,” she held.
Ms Soladoye further said that the testimony of the survivor was cogent, compelling and convincing.
According to her, prosecution established the ingredients of sexual assault by penetration against the defendant.
“The defendant is hereby found guilty as charged, and he is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment.
“He should have his name registered in the sexual offences register as maintained by Lagos state government,” she said.
The judge urged parents to caution their children against sitting on strangers’ laps.
“Children ought not to sit on laps of strangers, as we have dirty men and dirty women.”
Lagos state counsel, Olufunke Adegoke, called two witnesses against the convict and tendered two documents during trial.
The convict testified as the sole witness in the trial.
The convict wailed profusely while being escorted out of the court by prison officials.
According to the Lagos state government, which prosecuted the case, the offence contravenes Section 261 of its Criminal Law and attracts life imprisonment on conviction.