Supreme Court affirms life sentence for Jigawa rapist of 7-year-old girl
The Supreme Court of Nigeria on Friday unanimously dismissed the appeal of one Isyaku Muazu of Rijiyar Lemo, Fagge local government area of Kano State who was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Jigawa State High Court for raping a 7-year-old girl.
This was contained in a press release signed by the public relations officer, Jigawa State Ministry of Justice, Zainab Baba Santali on Friday.
The facts of the case were that the Appellant, an iron-scavenger, was arraigned before Jigawa State High Court sitting at Ringim, for the offences of Rape and Act of Gross Indecency.
The Appellant had on 30th July 2015, lured a girl of 7-years (names withheld) to an uncompleted building at Kiri Town, ostensibly to collect iron material and he immediately followed her to the building where he strangulated her neck, pinned her down, then raped her.
The prosecution, in proof of the case, called four witnesses and tendered four exhibits (Exhibits A, B, D1 & D2), while the Appellant testified on his behalf and called no other witness nor tendered any exhibit.
At the end of the trial, the High Court found that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt, as such sentenced the accused to life imprisonment for the offence of Rape punishable under Section 283 of the Penal Code Law of Jigawa State, with additional four years imprisonment and a fine of Ten Thousand Naira (N10,000.00) for the offence of Act of Gross Indecency.
The Appellant through his lawyer, Garba Abubakar, Esq., appealed against the decision of the High Court to the Court of Appeal, Kaduna Division where the Court, via a judgement delivered by Honourable Justice Amina Audi Wambai JCA, dismissed the appeal and affirmed the judgment of the High Court.
The Appellant further appealed the decision of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court.
Counsel to the Appellant argued that the judgment of the Court was wrong and legally flawed as the prosecution had failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and the Appellant’s right to fair-hearing was breached.
On the other hand, Counsel to Respondent and the attorney-general of Jigawa State, Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu, argued that the judgment of the Court of Appeal was in accordance with the law.
The Supreme Court jurist, Honourable Justice Helen Ogunwumiju JSC, dismissed the appeal and agreed with the submission of attorney-general that the procedure followed by the trial court in determining the charge against the Appellant was valid and flawless.
The Supreme Court also said the Appellant’s right to fair hearing was not breached. The Apex Court concluded that life imprisonment conviction on the Appellant for raping a 7-year-old girl and four years imprisonment and a fine of N10,000 for the offence of Act of Gross Indecency are very correct in law.
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