By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti—AN Ado-Ekiti high court, yesterday, sentenced a former Vice Principal of St. Mary’s Girls Grammar School, Ikole-Ekiti, Taiwo Ajayi, to life imprisonment for raping a 12-year-old student.
Ajayi was found guilty of raping a minor contrary to Section 31(2) of the Child Rights Law of Ekiti State, 2012. The convict was the Vice Principal (Academics) at the time he committed the offence on March 18, 2014.
The court was told that Ajayi lured the girl into his office, locked the door, gagged and raped her on the table. One of the teachers knocked at the door, but the convict refused to open it and threatened her not to tell anybody.
Ajayi was caught in the act by two teachers, who forced themselves into the culprit’s office during the act.
Justice Oluwatoyin Abodunde held that the prosecution had proved the case beyond every reasonable doubt on the strength of evidence placed before the court.
In delivering the judgment, Justice Abodunde rejected the convict’s counsel’s plea for leniency on grounds that his client is a first offender, father and breadwinner of an aged mother.
Justice Abodunde held: “The cases of child defilement have been on the increase lately and to serve as a deterrent to others, my view is that the punishment stipulated by lawmakers was deliberate to deter the offence and protect the right to dignity of the child.
“The defence counsel is pleading for leniency and praying for a fine instead of the due punishment. My question is who pays the victim for the lifetime scar of the trauma and torture of rape?
“I am unable to deviate from the provisions of the law in this instant. The defendant is found guilty as charged and sentenced to life imprisonment.”
The prosecution called eight witnesses, including a medical practitioner from the State University Teaching Hospital, police officers who investigated the case, two other pupils and a teacher in the school.
The two panels set up to investigate the matter indicted Ajayi, which led to his suspension from service after which he was arrested and arraigned to face the charge.