A38-year-old businessman Ofure Siakpere was on Wednesday sentenced to life imprisonment by the Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court for defiling and impregnating his 14-year-old in-law (name withheld).
Justice Abiola Soladoye sentenced Siakpere after finding him guilty of a charge of defilement contrary to section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.
Delivering judgment, Ms Soladoye said the prosecution had proved every ingredient for the offence of defilement. She described the prosecution witnesses as “compelling and convincing.”
“This is contrary to that of the defence, which was rather shallow and full of fallacy. The evidence of the defence witnesses were merely self-serving,” she said.
The judge admonished parents to stop sending their children to stay with relatives and advised that they plan their families by giving birth to the number of children they can afford.
“The defendant maltreated the victim (his wife’s niece) by defiling her. The conduct of this so-called in-law is hurtful and demeaning. Where is the defendant’s humanity and moral compass?” stated the judge. “This case is a reflection of sexual lawlessness that occurs within the family circle. The defendant must be duly sanctioned in the hope that this will serve as a deterrent to others to not toe the line of sexual misconduct.”
Ms Soladoye added, “The defendant Ofure Siakpere is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment with no option of fine. His name shall also be registered in the Sex Offenders Register as maintained by the Lagos state government.”
According to the lead state prosecutor, Funke Adegoke, Mr Siakpere committed the offence on or about March 2018 at his residence located at No. 10, Salaudeen Imam St., Lagos.
The convict was 35-years old when the offence was committed.
During the trial, two witnesses, the survivor and a medical doctor, Aniekan Makanjuola from Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), testified on behalf of the prosecution.
The survivor in her evidence said that she was overpowered and defiled on at least 15 occasions by the convict while living with him and his wife, her aunt.
She also explained that anytime she resisted his advances, he beat her up. The survivor added that she became pregnant as a result of the abuse.
At the time of her testimony in court, she had delivered a baby. The convict and his wife, Adebimpe Siakpere, testified for the defence.
Mr Siakpere, in his testimony, denied the allegation, describing it as false.