An Ekiti State High Court in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday sentenced a school proprietor, Mr Babatunde Ibitoye, to 10 years imprisonment after finding him guilty of raping a 10-year old pupil of his school.
Ibitoye, owner of God’s Grace Nursery and Primary School, located at Fayemi Market, Agric Olope Area, Ajilosun in the state capital city, committed the offence on June 10, 2013.
In her brief judgement, Justice Toyin Abodunde, said evidence by the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that the convict had sexually abused the victim, who was her pupil as at the time the offence was committed.
The trial judge agreed with the averment of the Director of Public Prosecution and the victim’s evidence that the defendant was caught at the scene of the incident.
“I rely heavily on the evidence of the victim that the defendant had been having sexual relationship with her before he was caught. That some of the teachers even gave evidence that she bled profusely few days before that time further confirmed that she had been sexually abused.
“The fact that the defendant was caught pants down was enough to prove that the accused person committed the offence contrary to section 31(c)of the Ekiti State Child Rights Law 2013 and he is hereby sentenced to ten years imprisonment without option of fine.”
Ibitoye was caught on the June 10, 2013 in a bush near Fayemi market, where he was said to have sexually abused the victim under the guise that he
was taking her home after the school hours.
On that day, Ibitoye was said to have carried three other pupils in his bus and drove towards a bushy area near the market to excrete, but only to enter the bush with the victim.
Before entering the bush, Ibitoye reportedly sent other pupils on different errands. But some auto mechanics operating within the vicinity suspected him and immediately tip-toed towards the bush where they caught the convict having carnal knowledge of the pupil.
He was apprehended by the people and handed over to the Police at Ologede station in Ado Ekiti for onward transfer to the police headquarters for prosecution.
The then government of Governor Kayode Fayemi immediately ordered the closure of the school and it has not been reopened since.
The Chairperson, Federation of International Female Lawyers, Mrs Rita
Ilevbaren, who commended the judgement, urged the victims of rape to always speak out.
Ilevbaren lauded the State Ministry of Justice, the judiciary and the victim’s parents for diligent prosecution of the case, describing this as a landmark in the battle against rampancy of rape in the State.