A 42-year-old man has been sentenced to 14 years in prison with hard labour in Edo State, South-south Nigeria, for raping and impregnating his 13-year-old daughter.
The convict, identified as Friday Moses, is a commercial motorcyclist from Cross River State but has been living in Edo with his family, according to a statement from the Government House, Benin City.
The Evbuoriaria Magistrate Court, Benin City, said in its judgement delivered on October 5 that Mr Moses will have to serve his jail terms without the option of fine, as a lesson to him, as well as other pedophiles in the state.
Mr Moses was said to have raped the girl after her mother died five years ago.
The victim, who is the first among the convict’s three children, is a primary six pupil.
She is five months and two week pregnant, and currently in the protective custody of the state’s ministry of women affairs and social development.
The court, presided over by a chief magistrate, J. O. Ejale, also sentenced one Lambert Ighodaro to 14 years in prison and another person, Benjamin Uzoma Nwachukwu, to 20 years for raping minors.
Mr. Nwachukwu, said to have been dismissed recently from the seminary, was arraigned on two-count charge and got 10 years each with hard labour, and without the option of fine.
Three more persons – Matthew Omokhafe, 65; Matthew Braimoh, 31; and Michael Eriarebhe, 33, were remanded in prison for allegedly defiling children who were either 15 years old or below.
The governor of Edo, Godwin Obaseki, in his reaction to the conviction, said the state government will not relent in its effort at enforcing the Child Rights Law and protecting children from pedophiles.
The governor’s spokesperson, Crusoe Osagie, in a statement issued on Friday, quoted Mr Obaseki as saying, “We want to assure parents that the campaign by the state government is yielding results.
“We will not relent. In fact, there is no hiding place for these deviants in our society anymore. This campaign will be intensified and we will ensure that those caught molesting children will face the full wrath of the law.”