Life Jail For Rapists, Robbers


An Ughelli High Court in Delta State, south south Nigeria, has sentenced two men, Ernest Steve,  30, and Jerry Godwin, 29, to life imprisonment for gang-raping a 17-year old girl (name withheld), after robbing the girl’s parents of their valuables.

Moments after the judgement was delivered, mother of one of the convicted rapists went berserk, stripping herself almost naked in the court room, saying that the life imprisonment for her only son was too much a pain for her to bear.

The court sentenced the two notorious rapists after finding them guilty of three-count charge of conspiracy, rape and attempted armed robbery.

After allegedly robbing the family of the rape victim of some valuables, the armed gang also went ahead to have carnal knowledge of her in turns, causing her severe bodily injuries and psychological trauma.

Prosecution officer, P.T. Daubry, told the court that the convicts while armed with a gun and knife, broke into the girl’s parents’ apartment located at Young Africa Close, Ovwian within Otor-Udu judicial division, under the cover of darkness on 5 November, 2007.

The trial Judge, Justice O. Tobi while delivering judgement in the case, cited several authorities and averred that the confessional statements of the accused which was admitted in evidence during trial, passed the veracity test and was not in doubt, saying that prosecution had proved the essential ingredients of the three-count information charge.

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Justice Tobi, during the verdict that lasted for over two hours, condemned the two criminals for their shameful acts and advised young people never to resort to crime no matter the condition they found themselves.

Plea for mercy by the defence counsel, Barr. M.I. Oshemele was turned down by the court on the grounds of law and proceeded to hand down the mandatory punishment for the offence they committed as prescribed by law.

Meanwhile, another Ughelli High Court has discharged and acquitted Michael Sunday who was in detention awaiting trial for five years on a one-count charge of armed robbery.

Counsel to the accused, Eloho Irogbo, while commending the trial judge for the erudite and sound judgement, noted that the court remains the final hope of the common man.

—Jethro Ibileke/Ughelli

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