Lagos school bus driver gets life sentence for defiling 3-year-old girl

Prison congestion: FG urged to resolve minor cases, decongest prisons

A school bus driver, Michael Mowete,  was on Tuesday sentenced to life imprisonment for defiling a three-year-old girl ( name withheld).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Rahman Oshodi of the  Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court held that the prosecution had discharged the burden of proof against Mowete.

Oshodi, in his judgment, said that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt the charge of defilement against the school bus driver.

"The convict's allegation of having an amorous relationship with the mother of the victim in her shop does not hold water.

"One of the defence witnesses, the school bus assistant, told the court that the convict was always in the bus whenever they dropped off the minor at her mother's shop.

According to the judge, the prosecution gave direct evidence as the survivor, despite her age, narrated to the court how the convict defiled her.

The judge said the evidence of the minor was corroborated with the mother's and the medical examination evidence while the investigative police officer (IPO) gave circumstantial evidence in the case.

He said: "the mother of the prosecutrix (survivor), in her evidence said that on  Sept.27, 2019,  the bus  driver dropped her daughter off and her daughter told  her 'mummy! mummy! uncle Michael touched my bumbum and jumped on me'

"The mother said she thought it was just  an ordinary touch until she wanted to bathe her daughter at night  and she started shouting when water touched her private part.

"Inspite of the prosecutrix age, she demonstrated to the court, repeated how the defendant defiled her and said in her evidence said ' uncle Michael touched  my bumbum and he jumped on me'

"The defence, in its final written address argued  that the  prosecutrix was coached but the evidence before this court  does not show  this.

"The  defendant in his evidence  said  that he was alone  with  the prosecutrix on the day of the incident and this  also  corroborated the evidence of the mother that on Sept. 27, 2019, the driver solely brought her child home at 6.00 p.m. as against the 3.00 p.m. which she usually return home."

Oshodi  also  said  the medical examination revealed  recently repeated blunt force penetration of the vagina.

He also said that the defendant's reliance on mtn call log as a means of of sexual communication between himself and the survivor's mother could not be established because no  evidence was produced  in regards to the call log conversation.

According to the judge, the amorous relationship between the defendant and the survivor's mother was  a lie and even if it was true, it did not negate the fact that the prosecution had established the charge of defilement against him.

He said: " Exihibit P6A and P6B indicted the defendant as he also confirmed in his extra judicial statement that he was the only one with the prosecutrix in the school bus on the said date.

"It is evident that the defendant forcefully touched the prosecutrix with  his hand  and penis.

"The totality evidence, prosecutrix evidence, corroborate the mother's evidence and that of the medical report also, the circumstantial evidence of the police showed that  the defendant committed the offence.

"The prosecution has discharged the burden of proof against the defendant and he is hereby convicted under Section 137 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State (2015)."

Oshodi consequently sentenced Mowete to life imprisonment and ordered that  his name be registered in the Lagos State Sexual Offences Register.

According to him: " Michael Mowete,  this  court  has found  you guilty of the charge of defilement.

"You have defiled a child, barely three years of age and you attempted to traumatise her family by fabricating that you had an amorous relationship with  her mother.

"The mother of the child told  this court that urine comes out of her daughter's vagina every 15 to 30 minutes and this shows how far damage you have done to the child.

"You are hereby sentenced to life imprisonment and you shall  serve the remainder of your term in the Maximum Correctional Centre."

NAN reports that the State Lead Counsel, Mr Babajide Boye called four witnesses while defence also called four witnesses.

The prosecution had submitted that the convict committed the offence on Sept. 27, 2019 on Okeho Street, Isolo and Lukmon Street, Ago Okota, Lagos.


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