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Court remands 52-year-old man over defilement

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An Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos yesterday remanded a 52-year-old man, Akinbode Ogunseinde, in Kirikiri Prisons for allegedly defiling his neighbour’s daughter. The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Olufunke Sule-Amzat, refused to listen to the defendant’s plea and ordered that he be remanded in prison until Nov. 28 pending the Director of Public Prosecution’s advice.

The defendant, an unemployed man, who resides at 11, Aduragbemi St., Oworonshoki, Lagos, is being tried for defilement. Earlier, the prosecutor, ASP Benson Emuerhi, had told the court that the offence was committed on Sept. 17 at the defendant’s residence. Emuerhi said the defendant called the complainant’s 10- year-old girl to his room on the false pretence of sending her on an errand.

“He shut the door at her and defiled her, thereafter warned her not to tell anyone. The girl told her elder sister who informed their mother. The case was reported at the police station and the defendant was arrested,” he said.

The offence contravened Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

However, as the world marks the International Day of the Girl Child today, United Nations human rights experts have applauded the courage that girls and young women have brought to recognizing and confronting many of today’s struggles from gender equality to poverty and violence. In a joint statement the experts say adolescent girls need to be supported by everyone who cares about human rights and a sustainable future.

“Youth activism, spearheaded by girls, has brought fresh energy and a renewed sense of urgency to tackling issues fought by generations before them. They have shown that no one is too young to act for human rights, and no one is too small to make a difference. These young human rights defenders are initiating, joining and spearheading movements with insistence and courage, confronting backlashes and attacks.

“It is deeply troubling that some of these brave girls and young women have been subjected to harassment and abuse and sometimes hateful attacks on social media. Attacks on young human rights defenders should not be tolerated. States have obligations to ensure the enjoyment of rights by girls and boys, including their right to privacy, freedom of thought, expression and association.”

Furthermore, adolescents are most at risk from contracting HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases and infections, the AIDS HealthCare Foundation – Nigeria Country Director, Echey Ijezie, has said. Ijezie who made the statement on Thursday in Abuja at AHF – Nigeria, in commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child tagged “Empowered Girls: Brighter Future,” said it is because they are more likely to engage in “risky behaviours”.

The International Day of the Girl Child is celebrated globally every year on the 11th of October. IJezie called on parents, teachers and the broader stakeholders in Nigeria to engage with adolescent on sexual and reproductive health issues. He said, WHO defines adolescent as people between the ages of 10 to 24 years old – “and this age is important because it is characterised by rapid physical growth and development as well as sexual maturation and also risky behaviours”.


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