The Lagos State high court has sentenced an Islamic cleric, Isah Mustapha, to life imprisonment for defiling an eight-year-old girl in the state.
Justice H.O. Oshodi of the Lagos state high court sitting at Ikeja, gave the judgement on Monday.
The victim, in her testimony, said the convict had carnal knowledge of her in his house in 2017 when her mother sent her on an errand.
She recalled that Mustapha called her on her way back.
“When I was about to get to our apartment, the defendant called me back saying he wanted to send me to my mother to collect onions from her and bring to him downstairs. So, I went upstairs to collect the onions, which my mother gave me to give to the defendant downstairs,” she added.
The eight-year-old explained that after handing the onions to Mustapha and she was about to return to her house, the cleric called her back, saying he was not done sending her on an errand.
“He said I should enter his house, but I said no. I later entered so he would not tell my father that I disobeyed him. He then said I should take off my pant, but I said no. He later took it off himself and his trousers too, then he slept on me. He put his private parts inside me and had sex with me,” she said.
She noted that the incident became public when her mother tried to gather her clothes for washing and saw bloodstains on her clothes.
In his testimony, Mustapha admitted to sending the victim on the errand, adding that he only inserted his finger in her private parts.
The defence counsel, M.O. Ifarinde, pleaded with Justice Oshodi to temper justice with mercy as her client was a first-time offender.
However, the prosecuting counsel, B.T. Boye, urged the judge to hand the maximum sentence to the defendant to serve as a deterrent to others.
The judge, after considering the argument of the defense and the prosecuting counsel, sentenced the defendant to life imprisonment.