Thursday, March 30, 2017 10:55 pm
Two men, Lucky Jonathan and Daniel Friday, have been sentenced to 12 and a half years and 12 years imprisonment respectively for raping and causing bodily harm on their victim.
The convicts appeared before High Court 1 sitting in Lokoja and were charged with the offences of conspiracy, rape, voluntarily causing hurt and abetment of the offence of rape in contravention of the Penal Code.
The offences were said to have been committed on 11th September, 2015 at Otokiti village in Lokoja the Kogi state capital.
Giving out the judgment, the Chief Judge of Kogi State, Justice Nasiru Ajanah, said that Lucky Jonathan, was involved only in the commission of the offence of conspiracy and voluntarily causing hurt to the victim while Daniel Friday conspired with his co-convict and raped their victim with others who were said to be at large.
Though they both pleaded not guilty during the trial, Justice Ajanah however said the court was convinced by the evidences presented by the prosecution as a proof of the commission of the offences by the convicts; one of which is the confessional statement of the convicts.
“The confessional statement was tendered and admitted without any objection. The accused persons did not lead any evidence to show any circumstance of involuntariness in obtaining their statement by the prosecution. They also did not explain any perceived inconsistency or contradiction in their testimony and the confessional statement.
“In fact, except in the aspect of commission of the offence, they virtually repeated what was contained in their confession. I therefore find it difficult to believe the evidence of the two accused persons resiling their confessional statement.The retraction is more of an afterthought and do not amount to any retraction in law.
“The said prosecutrix (the victim) alleged that the 2nd accused (Daniel Friday) had sex with her without her consent or knowledge. The 2nd accused himself had corroborated the evidence of the prosecutrix when he stated in exhibit 2 that he had sex with the prosecutrix and that he was in fact the fourth to have sex with her forcibly.
“The torn clothes of the prosecutrix recovered at the scene of crime and the bruises observed on the body of prosecutrix also bears testimony to the fact that the act of the 2nd accused was done without the consent of the prosecutrix.
“I am therefore convinced that the prosecution in this case has proved the offence of rape under Section 283 against the 2nd accused beyond reasonable doubt. It has been held severally that an accused can be convicted on his confessional statement alone, but in this case other corroborative evidences have added credence to the confession of the 2nd accused. I therefore hereby convict the second accused of the offence of rape contrary to Section 283 of the Penal Code.”