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Lagos school bus driver bags life jail for defiling three-year-old

Justice Rahman Oshodi of the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, in Lagos, on Tuesday, sentenced a school bus driver, Michael Mowete, to life imprisonment for defiling a three-year-old child.
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Justice Rahman Oshodi of the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, in Lagos, on Tuesday, sentenced a school bus driver, Michael Mowete, to life imprisonment for defiling a three-year-old child.

The judge held that the prosecution was able to discharge the burden of proof against Mowete.

He said that the convict’s allegation of having an amorous relationship with the mother of the victim in her shop did not hold water as one of the defence witnesses, the school bus assistant, told the court that the convict was always in the bus whenever they dropped off the victim at her mother’s shop.

Oshodi, in his judgment, said the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt the charge of defilement against Mowete.

According to the judge, the prosecution gave direct evidence as the survivor, despite her age, narrated to the court how the convict defiled her.

The judge said the evidence of the survivor was corroborated with the mother’s and the medical examination evidence, while the investigative police officer gave circumstantial evidence in the case.

Oshodi said: “The mother of the prosecutrix (survivor), in her evidence, said that on September 27, 2019,  the school bus driver dropped her daughter off and her daughter told her, ‘Mummy! mummy! Uncle Michael touched my bum bum and jumped on me.’

“The mother said she thought it was just an ordinary touch until she wanted to bathe her daughter at night, and she started shouting when water touched her private parts.

“Despite the prosecutrix’s age, she demonstrated to the court, repeated how the convict defiled her and said in her evidence, ‘Uncle Michael touched my bum bum and he jumped on me.’

“The defence, in its final written address, argued  that the prosecutrix was coached, but the evidence before this court does not show this as the convict in his evidence said that he was alone with the prosecutrix on the day of the incident and this also corroborated the evidence of the mother that on September 27, 2019, the driver solely brought her child home at 6.00 p.m. as against the 3.00 p.m. which she usually returned home.”

The judge further stated that the medical examination revealed recently repeated blunt force penetration of the vagina.

He also said that the convict’s reliance on the MTN call log as a means of sexual communication between himself and the survivor’s mother could not be established because no evidence was produced in regard to the call log conversation.

The judge held that the amorous relationship between the convict and the survivor’s mother was a lie, and even if it was true, it did not negate the fact that the prosecution had established the charge of defilement against him.

He said: “Exihibit P6A and P6B indicted the convict as he also confirmed in his extrajudicial statement that he was the only one with the prosecutrix in the school bus on the said date.

“It is evident that Mowete forcefully touched the prosecutrix with his hand and penis.

“The totality of the evidence, prosecutrix evidence, corroborates the mother’s evidence and that of the medical report also, the circumstantial evidence of the police showed that Mowete committed the offence.

“The prosecution has discharged the burden of proof against Mowete, and he is hereby convicted under Section 137 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State (2015).”

Oshodi consequently sentenced Mowete to life imprisonment and ordered that his name be registered in the Lagos State Sexual Offences Register.

He said, “Michael Mowete, this court has found you guilty of the charge of defilement.

“You have defiled a child, barely three years of age, and you attempted to traumatise her family by fabricating that you had an amorous relationship with her mother.

“The mother of the child told this court that urine comes out of her daughter’s vagina every 15 to 30 minutes, and this shows how far damage you have done to the child.

“You are hereby sentenced to life imprisonment, and you shall  serve the remainder of your term in the Maximum Correctional Centre.”

The State Counsel, Mr Babajide Boye, called four witnesses during the trial, while the defence also called four witnesses.

The prosecution told the court that the convict committed the offence on September 27, 2010, on Okeho Street, Isolo and Lukmon Street, Ago, Okota, Lagos.

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