An Islamic teacher, Adam Farouk, has been jailed for life for defiling eight pupils in his class.
His sentence was handed over by Justice Abiola Soladoye of an Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court, Lagos State, on Tuesday.
According to findings, the victims were between the ages of six and 11, between November 2018 to February 2019.
Farouk, who was arraigned on eight counts of sexual assault, was said to have committed the crime on Balogun Street, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos.
In her judgment, Justice Soladoye said the prosecution was able to nail the accused during the period of the trial, adding that Farouk was morally corrupt and an embarrassment to the Islamic faith.
Soladoye ruled that the victims’ demeanor proved that they were speaking the truth during the trial, and said that the evidence of the pupils was corroborated as they identified the convict as their teacher who penetrated their private parts with his index fingers.
Furthermore, she held that the evidence of the 10th prosecution witness, a midwife with the Women at Risk International Foundation, Mrs Oluchi Nwoke-Okoi, revealed that the pupils had vaginal injuries.
The defendant reportedly asked the pupils to turn their backs while he defiled them one after the other.
She said, “The demeanour of the defendant is nothing to write home about; his stony face appears mischievous; he is extremely unkind and ruthless, fingering his students with his index fingers.
“What an Islamic teacher, who took undue advantage of poor students in Islam and messed around with their purity and dignity.
“He is meant to teach his students morals, discipline and values, but alas, the reverse is the case.
“The dignity and safety of our students must be cherished. Dirty Islamic teacher of his kind must be locked away and made to pay for his dirty sexual indiscretions.”
The judge called on the Lagos State Government to adequately monitor educational institutions.
She also urged Muslim communities to regularly visit Islamic schools unannounced and get feedback firsthand from students and parents on the activities and conduct of their teachers.
“The need for this can never be overemphasised in view of the rampant scenes of this heinous crime.
“I salute the courage of the survivors for speaking up against the defendant without any fear of intimidation.
“Abused children are to be encouraged to speak up so that their assailants will be shamed and sanctioned accordingly.
“A teacher is a role model, setting the pace and leading by example as he is expected to impact knowledge and morals, but this defendant is nothing of such as he threw caution to the wind and messed around.
“On the testimonies of each of the prosecution witnesses and that of the sole defence witness, I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the prosecution has proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.
“The defendant is hereby convicted of all the charges and sentenced to life imprisonment on each of the eight counts, but the sentences shall run concurrently,” Soladoye held.
The judge also ordered that the convict should have his name written in the Sexual Offenders Register of Lagos State.
The prosecution called 10 witnesses during the trial while the defendant testified as the sole defence witness.