A Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere has sentenced a former Exxon Mobil engineer to 15 years imprisonment for raping his tenants 14-year-old niece.
James Onuoha has been sentenced to 15 years in prison without an option of fine after he was found guilty of raping his tenant’s niece, who was 14 years old at the time. The horrible incident happened on January 4, 2016.
He was first arraigned in January 2016 at the Magistrates’ Court on a four-count charge of defilement. Onouah was remanded in Kirikiri correctional centre pending legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Following his indictment by the DPP, the case was transferred to the high court for trial.
The state government accused Onuoha of committing the alleged offences on January 4, 2016, at 11:30 a.m., at 25, Samuel Amoore Street, Idowu Estate, Ike-Ira Nla, Ajah, Lagos.
The prosecution led by Dr. Jide Martins said the defendant forcefully had an unlawful sexual relationship with the 14-year-old girl.
He noted that the offences contravened Sections 134 (2), 135 (1), and is punishable under Sections 137 and 258 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
Onuoha, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
At the last adjourned date which was on January 14, 2020, the court adjourned the case until March 25, for judgment, after the parties adopted their final written addresses.
However, a final judgement was unable to be reached due to lockdown resulting from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Before handing down the verdict, the convict’s counsel, Dr Victor Olowonla, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as he was a first time offender.
Olowonla said: “My lord, he is a first time offender, he is a family man with wife and children and also the breadwinner of his family.
“He has lost his job since this case came up, going by the circumstances of this case, I urge my lord to tender justice with mercy, ”
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