By Kayode Adeoti
A Appeal Court, sitting in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital on Monday upheld the life sentence of the trial court imposed on Ojoluyi Tominiyi for raping a nine year old primary five (5) pupil, Mariam Mustapha.
The accused was sentenced to life imprisonment by the state High Court judge, Justice Mary Folayan on December 22, 2016.
He was charged and convicted for rape contrary to section 31(1) of the Kwara State Child Right Law, which stipulates a mandatory sentence of imprisonment upon conviction.
In the respondent’s brief of argument submitted to the Appeal Court by the accused counsel, Abdullah Beki, it revealed that “…on or about September 8, 2015, the girl (Mariam Mustapha) came back from her school to their serene residential house at Awudere Compound, Offa, Kwara state and was pounced upon by the Appellant when she came out of the general toilet.
“…the accused violently dragged her into an empty room in the house and forced his way through and had forcible sexual knowledge of her, after the act, the accused used a white handkerchief to wipe-off the blood from the resultant bleeding from the girl’s private part and asked her parent’s name and then ran out.
It further stated that the girl notified her mother and also showed her the bleeding when she returned from market.
“The father instantly took the girl to the hospital in Offa after inquired from her the cause of the sudden bleeding from her private part. The father then reported the incident to the men of the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) who promptly investigated the matter and effect the arrest of the appellant in Oshogbo.
Meanwhile, the accused counsel, Femi Makinde in suit no: KWS/C.59/2015 has approached the Appeal Court to determine whether the trial court was wrong to have convicted the appellant for the rape on the unsworn testimony of the victim
Also, whether the findings of the trial court led to conviction of the appellant for the offence of rape were based on proper evaluation of evidence adduces before trial court.
The Appeal Court judge, Justice Hamman Barka after considering the briefs upheld the judgement of the high court and arguments of the two counsels ordered that the accused, Tominiyi should continue to serve his life imprisonment.