Nigeria: I Have Married Her, Man Charged With Defiling 13-Year-Old Tells Court

14 February 2020

A 31-year-old chef, Innocent Etim, charged with the defilement of a 13-year-old girl in 2017, yesterday told an FCT High Court in Nyanya that the alleged victim was now his wife.

Etim, who was charged by the police with two counts bordering on defilement, said this while giving evidence as a defence witness.

"I have fulfilled all the marriage rites as required by the tradition to marry the girl.

"She delivered a baby boy on October 18, 2019 and we had the church dedication too," he told the court.

Etim added that he did not touch the alleged victim on February 13, 2017, the date of the alleged defilement but only asked her to come and collect a cake as it was her birthday.

"She came and I gave her the cake," he said.

After his testimony, his counsel, Dickson Umoru, told the court that the defence was closing its case.

Consequently, the judge, Justice Peter Kekemeke adjourned the matter to April 6 for adoption of written addresses.

The police had earlier told the court that the defendant committed the offence on February 13, 2017, at Sauka area of Abuja.

The offence contravened the provisions of sections 1 and 5 (1) of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act,2015

He pleaded not guilty and was admitted to bail in the sum of N2 million and a surety in like sum.

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