The Chief Magistrate (Special Grade) of the Magistrates’ Court in Igarra, Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State, Nosa Musoe, has sentenced one Dele Eric to 14 years imprisonment without an option of fine after being found guilty of rape, assault and conspiracy as applicable in the Edo State Criminal Code Law.
Eric and three others (two still at large) committed the offence in Ikpeshi and they were accused of inflicting machete wounds on their victim when she resisted them.
Eric was also accused of masturbating and ejaculating in the face and mouth of the victim who is said to be a person living with disability.
He was sentenced last Friday after being arraigned on charge no MIG/23/2020 and was prosecuted by Inspector Obaze Samuel of the Igarra Area Command of the Nigerian Police.
However, one of the suspects is said to be mentally unstable and cannot stand trial.
A statement by the Executive Director, BraveHeart Initiative, which provided support for the case, Priscilla Usiobaifo, on Monday, said they were satisfied with the outcome and are determined to continue to facilitate justice for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria.
Usiobaifo said, “BHI began an intervention in the case on January 4, 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic; facilitated case transfer to SCIID-Benin City on July 24, 2020, and also facilitated Case Arraignment on August 12, 2020.”
She said BHI got funding support from Open Society Foundations-Africa (OSIWA-OSF) and the MacArthur Foundation.
She said, “A total of 30 court sittings were held at the Magistrate Court, lgarra. Despite the slow pace, our team remained fiercely spirited, resilient, and hopeful in the judicial process to deliver justice.
“We are grateful to the BraveHeart Initiative SGBV case workers for their determination for justice and support to the survivor to access essential services in the face of the several limitations from the rigid COVID-19 protocols in Edo State. Despite the health risks and security anxieties during the pandemic, our team of dedicated caseworkers showed remarkable solidarity to survivors of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in rural communities of Edo State.
“BraveHeart Initiative for Youth and Women (BHI) is a youth-led, feminist non-governmental organization promoting young people’s sexual reproductive health and advancing women’s rights in Nigeria.”