A Delta State High Court at Ughelli has convicted two persons for gang-raping a 17-year old girl after robbing her parents of valuables, and thereby sentenced them to life imprisonment.
In 2007, the convicts namely: Ernest Steve, 30, and Jerry Godwin, 29 broke into the apartment of a 17-year-old girl’s parents at Young Africa Close, Ovwian within Otor-Udu judicial division with a gun and knife. But the court declined their plea for mercy on the grounds of law and consequently slammed a life imprisonment on the convicts, whom it said, admitted to a three-count charge brought against them at the court.
The court, which was presided over by Justice O. Tobi, described the action of the convicts as barbaric, warning young people that “never resort to crime again no matter the condition they found themselves.” While delivering his judgement, the judge explained that the confessional statements to which the two convicts admitted in evidence during trial passed the veracity test and was not in doubt.
He added that the prosecution led by Mr. P.T. Daubry, had proved the essential ingredients of the three-count charge, which was preferred against the convicts when they were arraigned before the court. After robbing the parents of the young girl of some valuables whose father is said to be a pastor, the armed gang had carnal knowledge of her in turns causing her severe bodily injuries and psychological trauma.
However, there was a mild drama in court moment after the judgement was delivered as the mother of one of the convicted rapists went berserk as she went almost naked within the court premises, saying that the life imprisonment for her only son was too much a pain for her to bear.
Meanwhile, another High Court at Ughelli discharged and acquitted one Michael Sunday, who was on criminal trial on a one-count charge of armed robbery. Sunday, who walked home free was in detention for five years awaiting trial. His lawyer, Eloho Irogbo, commended the trial judge for the erutide and sound judgement saying the court remains the final hope of the common man