A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has sentenced a teacher, Chukwu Ndubuisi, to life imprisonment for defiling a six-year-old pupil (name withheld) of Mind Builders School, Lagos.
Justice Sedoten Ogunsanya handed down the sentence to Ndubuisi aged 41 for his act of forceful penetration of the minor.
Ndubuisi was the art teacher of the school as of June 2016 when the offence was committed.
He was first arraigned at an Ogudu Magistrate Court on a charge of forceful penetration which he pleaded not guilty.
His case was later transferred to High Court before Justice Sedoten Ogunsanya following the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Ndubuisi was charged before the court on a one-count charge of child defilement.
Delivering judgment in the matter, Justice Ogunsanya citing several authorities, held that the prosecution has proved his case against the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt.
The judge held that the fact, circumstances, and quality of evidence against the defendant were compelling.
The court noted that the first time the survivor told her mother of her experience was when she was discussing the case of a seven-year-old girl that was defiled and killed and which went viral.
She said the survivor whispered to her mother that she wanted to discuss something with her.
The court noted that they went outside and the survivor narrated her experience to her and pleaded with her mother not to tell her father and brother.
The court noted that the mother told the father, following which they went to her school but the art teacher was not around.
She noted that the parents reported the matter at Omole Police station following which the matter was investigated and a test conducted on the survivor at Ikosi Health Center which revealed that the survivor had been defiled.
She said the matter was later taken up by the Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA).
Justice Ogunsanya held that the account of the survivor and that of her mother were uncontroverted, corroborated each other, and that they gave a good account of the assault.
The court also noted that the defendant usually sends the survivor’s friend to call her and that the first time the defendant defiled her was in the female toilet and the second time was in the art room.
She said the survivor told the court that sometimes her teacher (defendant) asked her to remove her uniform and put his “bumbum” into her “bumbum”.
At another time he called her into the art room, he put her on the table, parted her panties, and put “his thing into my thing”.
She said the survivor told the court that when the defendant is finished, he would clean up the survivor with tissue paper.
The court noted that the defendant had unhindered access to the child and defiled her several times.
Justice Ogunsanya discountenances the evidence of two prosecution witnesses who are medical doctors for being contradictory, pointing out that they did not come as expert witnesses.
She also dismissed the submission by defence witnesses that the incident was not recorded on the school’s CCTV.
She upheld the result of the test conducted at the Mirabel Center which showed that the survivor had a torn hymen and reddish vulva and that there was evidence of forceful penetration.
She, therefore, convicted the defendant as charged.
Counsel to the defendant, O.C. Olagunju pleaded with the court passionately to temper justice with mercy saying that no case of improper behaviour has ever been brought against the defendant nor had he ever had any case at any police station until this case.
But the prosecution, Jubril Kareem, argued that the law under which the defendant was charged does not give the court any discretion. He urged the court to impose the mandatory sentence stipulated in the law.
Justice Ogunsanya subsequently sentenced the defendant to life imprisonment.