Idowu Gbolahan, a 29-year-old vulcanizer, was on Monday sentenced to life imprisonment at an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Abiola Soladoye sentenced the convicted paedophile of No. 44, Sanusi St., Shomolu Lagos after he pleaded guilty when he was arraigned on a charge of defilement of a child.
This is the first judgment delivered by Justice Soladoye since she resumed as a judge of the court in September 2018.
While sentencing Gbolahan, the judge noted that the government of Lagos State was making efforts to rid the streets of paedophiles, and the sentence would serve as a deterrent to others.
She said:”The defendant was arraigned today in court and he pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of defilement of a child contrary to Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015.
“The defendant, upon arraignment, admitted to defiling the victim who is a seven-year-old child.
“I have listened carefully to the allocutus of his defence counsel, Mr Kelechi Obi. The offence in question is a strict liability offence.
“An offence against a child is a violation of her chastity and I cannot imagine the emotional and physical scars she will endure for the rest of her life.
“Idowu Ismail Gbolahan, male, is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment, this is the sentence of this honourable court.”
Earlier before the sentence, Mrs Fehinti Ogbemudia, the lead state prosecutor while addressing the court, revealed the facts of the case.
Ogbemudia said that the defendant defiled the complainant, who was visiting her grandmother on Aug. 11, 2018 at No. 50, Morocco Road, Shomolu, Lagos.
“My Lord, the victim on this fateful day went to her grandmother’s room to drink some water and was suddenly carried by the defendant into a room where he shut the door on her.
“It is further alleged that he removed her pants and had sexual intercourse with her.
“My Lord, the victim’s screams attracted a neighbour, one Esther Ufot who came to the victim’s rescue.
“My Lord, the defendant made a confessional statement and the victim was then referred to the Mirabel Center of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) for medical examination to corroborate her statement.
“Relying on the provisions of Sections 201 (1) (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2015, it is the prosecution’s humble submission that the defendant be convicted based on his plea of guilty and sentenced accordingly,” Ogbemudia said.
She also noted that Gbolahan’s confessional statement and the Mirabel Center medical report on the complainant were attached to the prosecution’s proof of evidence.
Mr Kelechi Obi, Gbolahan’s defence counsel, had prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, noting that he was a first time offender.
“By the rules of court and by the laws of the land, Your Lordship is obligated to commuting to a sentence as appropriate, but we urge My Lord to take cognition of a few facts.
“First, he is a first time offender, second he did not waste the time of the court, third is the quality of mercy according to Shakespeare.
“Mercy is said to be an attribute to God himself and that when a man grants mercy, he shares in the divinity of God, and in this instance, we are called to show mercy.
“I plead on his behalf that My Lord shows mercy,” Obi had said.