Benin — A Benin Chief Magistrate's Court has sentenced a 47-year-old father, Godwin Allu, to seven years imprisonment with hard labour for having unlawful carnal knowledge of his 12-year-old daughter.
Allu was accused of sleeping with his daughter on Nov. 20, at 19 Omono Street, off Stadium road, Benin City.
The offence is punishable under section 208 of the Criminal Code cap 48 Vol .11 of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976, which is applicable to Edo.
The little girl had testified that her father had unlawful carnal knowledge of her three times at different occasions.
The victim, who had blood stains on her uniform, informed her headmistress at Obaseki Primary School, Benin of the incident.
The headmistress later reported the case at the Airport Police Station, also in Benin.
When he was arraigned before the court, the accused admitted committing the crime and pleaded for leniency.
Delivering judgment, yesterday, the Chief Magistrate, Mr. Peter Obaseki, described the crime as bestial for which the accused deserved no mercy.
He said, "That the accused had carnal knowledge with a 12-year-old child on three separate occasions is bad enough.
"It is heart rendering that he was doing it with his own daughter, who even had blood stains on her uniform on the day this incest was reported.
"The case of sexual offence in this jurisdiction is not only increasing, but that of parents defiling their own daughters is also becoming common knowledge," the Magistrate said.
Obaseki said, "it is necessary that the court join other stakeholders in taking a serious stand in order to wipe out this monster before the society's moral fabric is completely destroyed.
"For this reason, the convict must be put out of circulation for sometime so that he would not be able to continue with his bestial activities.
"It is my prayer that God will forgive and change him for the better while in prison.
"In the circumstance, the convict is sentenced to seven years imprisonment with hard labour. There shall be no option of fine."
The court also ordered the victim be taken to an orphanage for care and protection.
Meanwhile, a Benin High Court has struck out a case of murder against one Suraji Aminu.
Justice Stephen Omonua struck out the case after listening to the submission of Mr Eddy-Omai Inenevwo, counsel to Aminu.
The counsel had told the court that though the suspect was alleged to have committed the offence in 2010 on charge B/140/C/2010, the prosecution refused to call witnesses in the case.
Inenevwo, who is also the Edo Coordinator of the Legal Aid Council, said that since the prosecution was not ready to call witnesses and the suspect was languishing in prison custody, he should be released.
"It amounted to travesty of justice and the court should strike out the matter," he said.
Omonua agreed with the submission of Inenevwo and struck out the case for lack of diligent prosecution.