On Thursday, an Ado Ekiti High Court ruled that 60-year-old Taiwo Ajayi, a secondary school principal in Ekiti State, is to spend the rest of his life in jail for the rape of a 12-year old girl.
According to reports, Ajayi deceived the girl into his office, locked the door and raped her on the table while covering her mouth with cloth to prevent her from screaming.
Justice Oluwatoyin Abodunde, who gave the verdict, said the principal was guilty as charged.
The judge rejected the convict’s counsel’s plea to be lenient based on the grounds that he was a first time offender, father and the breadwinner of an aged mother.
“The prosecution has proved its case beyond every reasonable doubt on the strength of evidence placed before the court.
“The cases of child defilement has been on the increase lately and to serve as a deterrent to others, my view is that the punishment stipulated by the lawmakers was deliberate to deter the offence and protect the right to dignity
of the child.
“The defense counsel is pleading for leniency and praying for fine instead of the due punishment. My question is: “who pays the victim for the life-time scar or the trauma and torture of rape?
“I am unable to deviate from the provisions of the law in this instance; the defendant is found guilty as charged and sentenced to life imprisonment,” the judge said.
According to reports by The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the rapist, who is in his 60s at the time of committing the crime was the Vice- Principal (Academics) at St. Mary’s Girls Grammar School, Ikole-Ekiti.
Ajayi had committed the offence on March 18 2014 and was suspended from the civil service to face the consequences of his action,
Two teachers had stormed the vice-principal’s office but could not gain entry until after about 30 minutes and caught him in the act.
The prosecution was led by Mr A.E. Arogundade of the Ministry of Justice, according to reports by NAN, while the defense team was led by Mr Sule Longe.
On Oct. 14, 2016, Ajayi had pleaded not guilty at the arraignment.
The offence contravened Section 31 (2) of the Child Rights Law of Ekiti State 2012. (NAN)
Eight witnesses were called by the prosecutor, including a medical practitioner from the State University Teaching Hospital, police officers who investigated the case, two other pupils and a teacher in the school.
Exhibits tendered include a medical report, statement of the accused, report of the panels set up by the school authorities and Teaching Service Commission, medical report from the police clinic, statement of the victim, among others.
The two panels set up to investigate the case indicted Ajayi which led to his suspension from service after which he was arrested and prosecuted.