Father jailed 10 years for defiling, injuring 9-year-old only child

Awesome Ekene

A middle-aged man, Kenneth Nwangwu has been sentenced to ten years imprisonment by The Children, Sexual and Gender-based Violence Court sitting at High Court Awka for defiling his biological 9-year-old daughter and only child.

The judgement was delivered in a three-count charge brought against the defendant by the state government following compelling evidences proving him guilty as charged.

He was consequently sentenced to seven years imprisonment on count one of the charges – having sexual intercourse with a nine-year old child, offence punishable under section 34 of the Child Rights Law of Anambra State of Nigeria 2004.

The court also sentenced the defendant to two years imprisonment on count two – inflicting physical injuries on his victim and one year imprisonment on count three – causing emotional and psychological abuse on the victim.

The two offences are punishable under sections 4 and 16 of the Violence Against Persons, Prohibition and Protection, Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria 2017.

In its ruling, the court relied on evidences presented by prosecution witnesses; including the victim and also took cognizance of evidences that the defendant had been taking care of the victim from about one year after the mother left them, among others.

The court gave the defendant opportunity to explain why he was raping his child, and should not be given maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Responding, the defendant initially denied defiling his child, claiming it was a woman he usually left the child with following the wife’s separation that got him arrested via the police over the allegation.

He however, later admitted to the crime and pleaded for leniency, and his defense counsel also pleaded for mercy of the court, on the premise that the defendant was a first time offender and has the victim as his only child, among others.

The court ordered that the seven, two- and one-year prison terms should run concurrently, and that the victim should still remain in the care of the Anambra State Government.

Speaking after the judgement, Anambra State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof Sylvia Ifemeje, who led the prosecution team in the case, described the judgement as welcome development, and would serve as deterrent to other rapists.

She stressed that the state government’s zero tolerance for sexual assaults is non-negotiable.

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