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Security guard bags life imprisonment for raping minor

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Justice Rahman Oshodi of the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court sentenced Olawale Olarewaju, a security guard, to life in prison for sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old girl on Monday.

The judge also chastised the Ikoyi Custodial Centre for lapses and delays in bringing the security guard, who had been in jail detention for eight years, to court.

Justice Oshodi ruled that the matter was dismissed for want of diligent prosecution by Justice Sybil Nwaka (retd) because the correctional center failed to produce him for arraignment between 2016 and 2019, notwithstanding the issue of a reproduction warrant.

He said: “The defendant was in the Ikoyi Custodial Centre and remained there for about eight years from the day of his remand until he was produced before me on January 3, 2023, for arraignment.

“The proceedings demonstrated gaps in the operation of the Nigeria Correctional Service.

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“It is mind-boggling to hear that the defendant has been in the Ikoyi Custodial Center since 2016 but was brought to court for the first time in 2023.

“The correctional center was directly responsible for the defendant’s long period of awaiting trial, and this is appalling.”

Oshodi stated that the survivor’s testimony was consistent with that of her father, who was Prosecution Witness Two.

He claimed the survivor offered a vivid and unwavering account of what the security guard did to her.

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“I believe her.

“The defendant’s denial does not hold water, as he admitted knowing the prosecutrix but made a u-turn during cross-examination that he did not know her.

“He also admitted that the prosecution came to the compound to fetch water,” he said.

The judge determined that Olarewaju contradicted himself, rendering his evidence-in-chief untrustworthy.

He then convicted the guard of the accusation and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

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Oshodi stated that the convict’s name should be included in the Lagos State Government’s Sexual Offences Register.

During the trial, the prosecution called two witnesses, and the defendant testified as the only witness.

According to the prosecution, the offense violated Section 137 of Lagos State’s Criminal Laws, 2015.

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