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Father sentenced to life imprisonment for raping daughter

A 42-year-old man, Ekpo Lawrence has been sentenced to life imprisonment without an option of fine by an Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court for defiling and impregnating his 15-year-old daughter.

The trial judge, Justice Abiola Soladoye said the prosecution diligently proved the case of defilement against Mr Lawrence by the Lagos State Government.

Commending the prosecution, the judge said the evidence adduced by them had been consistent, while that of the defence had been “inconsistent and manifestly unreliable”.

Justice Soladoye, in the judgment, stressed that Mr Lawrence’s denial of the allegations was a calculated attempt to mislead the court.

The judge described the conduct of the defendant as “dirty, scandalous and unpardonable” under Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015, and condemnable in all ramifications.

“The immoral behaviour of having sex with his own biological daughter is toxic, absolutely disgraceful and an abomination contrary to the law of nature. It is morally reprehensible as it is incest,” the judge said.

“Where is the self respect of this defendant? How absolutely bizarre. Having sex with his daughter obviously took away his ability to make rational decisions. He foolishly tampered with the purity and self esteem of his child.

“I pray for inner peace for the victim to relieve her of fear and hatred for her father who sexually molested her severally so that she can deal with her pains, trials and tribulations and go on to live a purpose driven life.

“A father should be a trusted person in the life of a child. He supposed to keep his child safe but betrayed her sexually; he ripped purity off her body and her soul.

“He is to have his name registered in the Sex Offenders Register as maintained by the Lagos State Government.”

According to the lead prosecutor, Bola Akinsete, the convict, Mr Lawrence, committed the offence between December 2018 and June 2019 at his home in Agege area of the state.

He was 39-years-old when the offence was committed.

During the trial, four witnesses – the victim, a medical doctor, a social worker and a police officer – testified for the prosecution, while Mr Lawrence testified solely in his defence.

The victim, who was 17-years-old when she gave her evidence in court, said her father had on numerous occasions defiled her, especially whenever her stepmother was away.

She said the incestual act came to light when she confided in a social worker in her school.

Dr Maria Fadaka of the Mirabel Center (a Sexual Assault Referral Center) in her evidence, said after examining the teenager, her findings had revealed evidence of vaginal penetration and early pregnancy.

Mr Lawrence, in his defence, had denied having sexual intercourse with his child claiming he was at work when the acts of defilement allegedly took place.

Reporting by Wahab Akinlade; Editing by Tola Oguneye and Tony Okerafor