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Court jails cleric five years for raping minor

By Ayodele Afolabi, Ado Ekiti
06 August 2019   |   2:58 am
A High Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State has sentenced a cleric, Gabriel Asateru to five years imprisonment for raping a minor.

Jails.<br />Photo: Newstage

A High Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State has sentenced a cleric, Gabriel Asateru to five years imprisonment for raping a minor.

The convict was accused of defiling a five-year-old girl and later took to his heels before he was arrested by the police who transferred him to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) section of the police headquarters in Ado Ekiti.

Asateru, 53, a priest with Anglican Church, committed the crime on December 23, 2016 at Ifisin-Ekiti in Ido-Osi local government area of the state.

The suit, with registration number HAD/112/ 117, was first heard on January 2018 before Justice Oluwatoyin Abodunde on a one-count charge of unlawful sexual intercourse.

According to the charge sheet, the accused person committed the offence contrary to section 31 of the Child’s Rights Law Cap 7, Laws of Ekiti State Nigeria, 2005.

Delivering judgment yesterday, Justice Abodunde said: “The accused person stands guilty and accordingly convicted to serve a prison term of five years and to also pay a sum of N50,000 fine as stipulated by the Child’s Rights Law 2005.”

At the hearing stage, the prosecuting counsel, Ronke Odetola, from the office of Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) tendered the Doctor’s Report and the defendant’s statement on oath to prosecute her case. She also called three witnesses to testify against the cleric. Barrister Olanrewaju Oluwasola stood for the accused.

Meanwhile, a Chief Magistrates’ Court in Minna has sentenced a 33-year-old Islamic teacher, Abubakar Abdullahi, to seven years imprisonment for having anal sex with 35 of his pupils. Abdullahi, a resident of Sabon Gari, Kontagora, was charged with an unnatural offense, contrary to section 284 of the penal code law.

The police prosecutor, ASP Daniel Ikwoche, told the court that one Murtala Abdullahi, a Hisbah Commander in Kontagora Local Government Area reported the matter at the ‘A’ Police Division in Kontagora on July 22.

Ikwoche said the complainant alleged that the accused lured 35 of his pupils who are between the ages of nine and 14 into his room and had anal intercourse with them on different occasions between March and July this year.

When the charge was read to him, he pleaded guilty and begged the court for leniency.

The prosecutor thereafter prayed the court to try him summarily in line with section 157 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

In her ruling, Magistrate Hauwa Yusuf sentenced Abdullahi to seven years in prison with hard labour. Yusuf, however, said the convict will have the option of an N2 million fine after serving the first four years of his sentence.