A 32 year-old security guard, Kenechukwu Okonkwo was on Friday sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for raping a 29-year-old virgin.
Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye while passing the sentence at an Ikeja High Court, Lagos, described rape as an act of extreme violence’ against women.
Ipaye said that there should be zero tolerance to any form of violence against women and vulnerable members of the society.
“I hereby sentence you, Kenechukwu Okonkwo, to 14 years imprisonment to commence from today March 24, 2017,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Okonkwo was arraigned in court on July 14, 2015 on a charge of rape which is contrary to Section 258 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
During the trial, the prosecution led by Adeniji said that Okonkwo committed the offence on Dec. 27, 2013 in his one-bedroomed apartment located in Ketu Lagos.
Adeniji said: “The complainant was a 29-year-old saleswoman (name withheld) who was a virgin.
“She became friends with Okonkwo who was a security guard working at a supermarket where she supplied goods.
“She was experiencing accommodation problems and was about to be evicted from her home.
“The complainant however, confided in Okonkwo about her problem and he offered to keep some of her property in his apartment.
“She came to inspect his apartment which was a ‘face me I face you,’ doubting the suitability of his apartment and when she turned to leave, Okonkwo blocked her exit and forcefully dragged her from the corridor into his apartment.
“She was screaming and begging him in Igbo language and he responded saying that ‘you have been suffering me for too long,” he said.
The prosecutor said the convict however, gagged her with wrapper to stifle her scream and had forceful carnal knowledge of her in his bedroom.
“The noise and commotion in the apartment attracted Okonkwo’s co-tenant who came to intervene to no avail.
“It was when the landlord knocked on Okonkwo’s door to enquire about the noise that the complainant was able to escape,” Adeniji said.
However Okonkwo, in his testimony during the trial, claimed that the sexual intercourse between him and the complainant was consensual.
He said that he had a desire to marry her and she usually visited him at his apartment on Sundays with members of her church.
“On that fateful day, I attended a naming ceremony and while I was leaving the ceremony, I received a phone call from the complainant saying that she was at my house.
“I got home and she collected the bag of pure water I was carrying and asked me what I wanted to eat and I told her I wanted to eat Indomie.
“She changed into a pair of tights from her jeans trousers to make the Indomie and I played an adult movie which we watched together while we had dinner.
“She made me promise that I will marry her and thereafter, we made love,” he said.
However, when he was being cross-examined by Adeniji, Okonkwo admitted, contrary to his testimony, that the complainant visited him for the first time on the day of the incident.
Justice Ipaye, in convicting Okonkwo, noted inconsistencies in his testimony.
She said: “The defendant is not only economical with the truth, he should not be believed.
“There were inconsistencies in his testimonies and his longstanding friend who testified on his behalf as DW2, could not recall knowing her as his girlfriend.
“She was at risk of having her belongings thrown out of where she was staying and he took advantage of her vulnerable state on the night of Dec. 27, 2013.
“After hearing and observing the defendant and the complainant give their testimonies, her account is more in line with narration of her accommodation problem.
“Her visit to the defendant was not a social visit but to establish the suitability of his home to keep some of her belongings at the time.
“She is of a very slim build and could have been easily overpowered by the defendant and her account was more in line with the account of the medical doctors who testi
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