An Ado Ekiti High Court has sentenced a school proprietor, Mr. Babatunde Ibitoye, to 10 years imprisonment for raping a 10-year-old pupil of his school.
Ibitoye, proprietor of God’s Grace Nursery and Primary School located at Fayemi Market, Agric Olope, Ajilosun in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State capital, committed the offence on June 10, 2013.
Subsequently, the state Ministry of Justice had through a suit number HAD/F11/2013 preferred a one-count charge of rape against the accused person on December 3, 2013.
In her judgment, Justice Toyin Abodunde agreed with the evidence of the plaintiff, saying it had been proven beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant had sexually abused the victim, who was her pupil as at the time the offence was committed.
Justice Abodunde said that she agreed with the averment of the DPP and the victim’s evidence to the effect that the defendant was caught at the scene of the incident and could not have denied knowledge of the offence.
The judge said: “I rely heavily on the evidence of the victim that the defendant had been having sexual relationship with her before he was caught. Some of the teachers even gave evidence that she bled profusely few days before that time, further confirming that she had been sexually abused.
“The fact that the defendant was caught pants down was suffice to prove that the accused person committed the offence contrary to section 31(c) of the Ekiti State Child Rights Law 2013 and he is hereby sentenced to 10 years imprisonment without option of fine.”
Ibitoye was caught on June 10, 2013, in a bush near Fayemi market, where he sexually abused the victim under the guise that he was taking her home after school hours.
On that day, Ibitoye was said to have carried about four pupils in her bus and drove towards a bushy area near the market to excrete, but only to enter the bush with the victim.
Before entering the bush, Ibitoye sent other pupils on different errands just for his intention to materialise.
Sensing danger, some auto mechanics operating within the vicinity suspected the movement and immediately tiptoed towards the bush where they caught the convict having carnal knowledge of the pupil.
He was later apprehended by the people and handed over to the police at Ologede station in Ado Ekiti.
The first punitive measure taken against him by Governor Kayode Fayemi’s administration was immediate closure of his school which has not been reopened yet.
Meanwhile, the chairperson, Federation of International Female Lawyers, Mrs Rita Ilevbaren who commended the judgment, urged the victims of rape to always speak out, saying silence would never help their course.
Ilevbaren lauded the state Ministry of Justice, the judiciary and the victim’s parents for diligent prosecution of the case, describing this as a landmark in the battle against rampancy of rape in the state.

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