22nd April, 2022
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
A Magistrate Court Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced one Prophet Mishack Aguebere of a white garment church to two years imprisonment for assaulting his wife’s 13-year-old niece in his church.
Prophet Aguebere was charged for indecent and unlawful dealings with the girl.
According to court document, the Prophet poured hot candle wax and inserted his fingers severally into the private part of the victim.
While delivering guilty verdict on the accused, Chief Magistrate Amaka Amanze decried increase in sexual assault on minors.
According to the Magistrate, the action of the convict resulted in the victim having forceful tear of her hymen and other medical conditions as shown by the medical report tendered in court.
The Principal of Community Secondary School in Rumuomasi, Eberechi Dike, had taken taken up the case when the victim reported the incident to her.
“When I got the complaint,I immediately took her to the Clinic of Doctor Without Borders,to check her, involved FIDA and the Police. But all thanks to FIDA for their efforts in fighting for the rights of underprivileged”
He urged caregivers to take seriously the complaints of students and report same to the appropriate quarters for action.
However, commenting on the jail term slammed on Prophet Aguebere, a human rights advocate and national Coordinator of Basic Rights Protection and Accountability Campaign regretted that the police did not charge him under the section 516 of the law which prescribes life imprisonment for any adult who defiles a child from 13 year below upon conviction.
“The IPO for the best reason known to him charged the case as indecent assault which is 2 years imprisonment upon conviction.
“So the Court cannot pronounce sentence beyond what is stated in the section the charge was brought under.”
He is advised that it is better to engage a lawyer to monitor the charges brought by the Police in such matter the first day in court.
He pointed out that if there was a lawyer holding watching brief for family of the defilement survivor the first day the convict was arraigned in court, he or she would have raised concerns in the court and possibly work with the prosecutor to ensure the charge is amended and brought under the appropriate section.