An Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court yesterday sentenced a 34-year-old man, John Otema, to 53 years imprisonment for raping a 19-year-old student (name withheld) of the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
The rape occurred on the campus of UNILAG. The convict is an alumnus of the UNILAG while the victim is a student of the institution. Otema, a quantity surveyor and facilities manager, was arraigned before Justice Abiola Soladoye on a three-count charge of rape and assault, occasioning harm.
Otema was convicted on two out of the three charges and was sentenced to 50 years in prison for rape and three years in prison for assault. However, the court found Otema not guilty of the third charge of rape involving another lady. The second lady is a 20-year-old student of the institution.
Delivering her judge ment, Soladoye noted that the demeanour of second lady, in her testimony, was mischievous and she would not have claimed that she was raped if Otema had paid her the N50,000 agreed upon before their rendezvous. In convicting Otema of rape and assault occasioning harm of the victim, the judge noted that in ad-dition to medical evidence and photographs tendered by the prosecution, the lady also identified the defendant as her assailant who bit her back and punched her eyes.
She said: “On count two (rape), the defendant is found guilty and is hereby sentenced to 50 years in prison as the evidence adduced before this court has been proved beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution.
“With regards to count three (assault occasioning harm) the defendant is found guilty and is hereby sentenced to three years in prison as the prosecution has done its job diligently by proving the charge beyond reasonable doubt,” The judge decried the spate of sexual violence committed against women and girls and said the sentence should serve as deterrent to other sexual offenders in Lagos.
She added: “This State of Excellence (Lagos State) has zero tolerance for this sort of crime and the punishment meted out to the defendant will serve as a deterrent to other sex offenders that they too will be caught and brought to justice. “Women and girls like every other member of the society should be respected and not be turned into prey by sex maniacs.”