According to NAN, the convicted paedophile and a 29-year-old vulcanizer, Idowu Gbolahan, of No. 44, Sanusi St., Shomolu Lagos was on Monday, April 8, 2019 sentenced by Justice Abiola Soladoye after he pleaded guilty when he was arraigned on a charge of sexual molestation.

She said: ”The defendant was arraigned today in court and he pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of defilement of a child contrary to Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015.

“The defendant, upon arraignment, admitted to defiling the victim who is a seven-year-old child.

“I have listened carefully to the allocutus of his defence counsel, Mr Kelechi Obi. The offence in question is a strict liability offence.

“An offence against a child is a violation of her chastity and I cannot imagine the emotional and physical scars she will endure for the rest of her life.

“Idowu Ismail Gbolahan, male, is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment, this is the sentence of this honourable court.”

The lead state prosecutor, Mrs Fehinti Ogbemudia, while addressing the court, revealed the facts of the case before the sentence.

Ogbemudia said that Gbolahan sexually molested his 7-year-old niece, who was visiting her grandmother on Aug. 11, 2018 at No. 50, Morocco Road, Shomolu, Lagos.

“My Lord, the victim on this fateful day went to her grandmother’s room to drink some water and was suddenly carried by the defendant into a room where he shut the door on her.

“It is further alleged that he removed her pants and had sexual intercourse with her.

“My Lord, the victim’s screams attracted a neighbour, one Esther Ufot who came to the victim’s rescue.

“My Lord, the defendant made a confessional statement and the victim was then referred to the Mirabel Center of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) for medical examination to corroborate her statement.

“Relying on the provisions of Sections 201 (1) (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2015, it is the prosecution’s humble submission that the defendant be convicted based on his plea of guilty and sentenced accordingly,” Ogbemudia said.

Mr Kelechi Obi, Gbolahan’s defence counsel, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy.

“By the rules of court and by the laws of the land, Your Lordship is obligated to commuting to a sentence as appropriate, but we urge My Lord to take cognition of a few facts.

“First, he is a first time offender, second he did not waste the time of the court, third is the quality of mercy according to Shakespeare.

“Mercy is said to be an attribute to God himself and that when a man grants mercy, he shares in the divinity of God, and in this instance, we are called to show mercy.

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“I plead on his behalf that My Lord shows mercy,” Obi had said. 

Justice Soladoye while delivering her first judgment since she resumed as a judge of the court in September 2018, noted that Lagos State government was making efforts to rid the streets of paedophiles, and the sentence would serve as a lesson to deter others.