An Ikeja High Court has arraigned one Nwanne Nwaore, 40, for allegedly raping and impregnating the 12-year-old daughter of his neighbour.
Based on the evidence presented by the prosecution, Nwaora raped the girl on November 2015 in her parents’ home by luring the victim’s brother, sending him on an errand.
The defendant hereafter threatened to kill the girl if she tells anyone about what transpired.
However, the girl’s mother noticed changes in her body and confronted her which made her revealing what happened with the defendant.
It was garnered that the child born as a result of the assault is in the custody of her mother and grandmother.
However, the accused, through his counsel, Worer Obuagbaka, requested that the case is settled out of court in the interest of the child produced by the unlawful act.
The counsel implored the court to take the interests of the new child into consideration saying the child may suffer as a result of the prevailing situation.
“If the case is settled out of court, and the defendant asked to take care of the child and the defiled child (complainant), that is enough punishment.
“If he is jailed, it will not be in the interest of the new child who will go through trauma knowing that her father is languishing in jail.
“I will like to request for an adjournment to enable us to interact with the relations of the victim so that the defendant will be made to take care of the new child and the defiled child by an order of this court,” he said.
However, the lead prosecution counsel, Y. G. Oshoala, objected saying Nwaora must pay for his alleged crimes.
He said: “Contrary to the submission of the learned defence counsel, the defendant should plead guilty; during allocutus (plea for mercy before sentencing), the defence counsel can bring up the points he is canvassing.
“The defendant should not eat his cake and have it; he should assume legal responsibility for his actions.”
Ruling, Justice Josephine Oyefeso told the court that “I have considered very carefully the submissions of the learned counsel; I have considered that the defence counsel has only been briefed and that a plea bargain agreement is being requested by the defence.
“In view of the fact that the defence counsel has not been served with the proof of evidence, I will grant an adjournment. The case is adjourned until Jan. 7, 2019, for definite trial or report of a plea bargain.”