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Friday, May 24, 2024

Lagos court sentences teacher to life for defiling special needs Pupil

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Peter Jacob, a secondary school teacher, has been sentenced to life imprisonment by Justice Abiola Soladoye of the Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court in Ikeja for defiling a nine-year-old pupil with special needs. The verdict was handed down after Justice Soladoye held that the prosecution had efficiently proved the charge of defilement against Jacob beyond a reasonable doubt.

According to the prosecution, Jacob committed the offence sometime in 2019 at Thescol College, CMD Road, Magodo, in Ikeja. The survivor, who had dyslexia, was in the primary school section of the school, which also houses the secondary school where Jacob worked. The offence violated Section 137 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

In the trial, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge. In her judgment, Justice Soladoye held that the evidence of the prosecution witnesses was persuasive, compelling, and believable. The judge also stated that the evidence of the defendant and the three defense witnesses (staff of the school where the defendant worked) were self-serving.

Justice Soladoye said, “the defendant was observed to be unrepentant and unremorseful. The first prosecution witness (survivor) correctly identified the defendant when she gave her evidence, and the other three witnesses adequately corroborated her evidence. The prosecution has successfully established the ingredients of the offence against the defendant. The defendant is Godless, brutally wicked and lustful, acts unbecoming of a teacher. I find him guilty of the charge, and he is now sentenced to life imprisonment.”

The Lagos State Government, through the Office of the Public Defender, had instituted the case against Jacob. In addition to the life imprisonment, the court also ordered that the convict should have his name registered in the sexual offence register maintained by Lagos State. This sentence sends a strong message to perpetrators of sexual crimes, particularly against children, that justice will always be served.

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