A tenant, Oladimeji Michael, has been sentenced to 21 years’’ imprisonment by a Lagos High Court for sexually assaulting his landlady’s son.

The Justice Sedoten Ogunsanya-led court said the prosecution proved its case “beyond all reasonable doubt” and sentenced the convict accordingly.

The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team, in a report, said the assault happened on September 5, 2013, on Kadiri Street, Alausa, Ikeja.

The convict was said to have taken the boy to a bathroom where he put his private parts in the boy’s mouth.

A neighbour, identified as Ifeanyi, was said to have seen them and alerted the boy’s mother, Iyabo.

She was said to have rushed to the bathroom, peeped through a hole in the door of the makeshift bathroom and saw Michael standing on a stone, with his private parts in the victim’s mouth.

Iyabo was said to have raised the alarm before reporting the matter to the police and the suspect was arrested.

The defendant was subsequently charged to court on one count of sexual assault by penetration, which the police said was contrary to Section 259 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.

Michael was said to have pleaded not guilty and elected summary trial.

In proving its case against the defendant, the prosecution called three witnesses, namely the neighbour who saw them,  Ifeanyi; the boy’s mother, Iyabo; and the Investigating Police Officer, W/Cpl. Okunola Modupe

“Ifeanyi said in his evidence that another neighbour, known as Obilaw, asked him to go and check what was happening in the bathroom. He said when he got there, he saw the defendant putting his private parts in the victim’s mouth. He said he rushed to call the boy’s mother in her shop. Ifeanyi claimed that it was not the first time Michael had done this, and he had been advised to stop but he refused.

“The victim’s mother, Iyabo, said her son had left her shop to meet the grandmother inside the house that day. Thereafter, Ifeanyi informed her about what the defendant was doing to her son. She said when she got to the bathroom door, she peeped through a hole and saw the defendant putting his private parts into the mouth of her son. She said she immediately pushed the door open, held the defendant down and alerted other

. She said she did not allow him to pull up his trousers. Iyabo said she took her son to report at the police station,” the DSVRT said in the report.

The IPO, Modupe, reportedly testified that during interrogation, the victim said Michael put his kokoro  (privtate parts) in his mouth, adding that Micheal, who confessed to the crime, claimed he was drunk when the incident happened.

Michael, while making his defence, said on the day of the incident he had returned home from work around 9pm when he had a fever.

He claimed that he had gone to urinate when the boy drew near to him. He said the boy’s mother, who was his landlady, saw them together and raised the alarm.

The prosecution team, Mr I. Haroun and Ms Tolulope Aderiye, of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, said it had proved beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the defendant for the offence of Sexual Assault by Penetration, contrary to Section 259 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.

The prosecution said the three methods of evidential proof could be by direct evidence of witnesses, circumstantial evidence, and by reliance on the confessional statement, the accused made.

The team said it had fulfilled the three requirements.

“In conclusion, the prosecution said it had substantially fulfilled what needed to be established against the defendant that he sexually assaulted the victim, a three year and seven-month-old child on September 5, 2013, by putting his private parts into his mouth. The honourable court was urged to hold that the prosecution had proved the guilt of the defendant on the charges preferred against him,” the DSVRT added.

The court ruled that Michael was guilty and sentenced him to 21 years’ imprisonment starting from Tuesday, February 6, 2018, when the judgment was delivered.

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