By Bukar Bolori
The FCT High Court sitting in Maitama, presided over by Justice Samira Bature has sentenced an Abuja–based businessman, Chika Adionye, 42 years old, to life imprisonment for rape of two minors.
The two minors who were aged 7 and 8 years at the time of their rape, are cousins.
A statement on Friday by the Press Officer of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Vincent Adekoye said the convict was arrested by the operatives of the agency in 2016 at Kara Majiji Community of Airport Road, a suburb of the FCT, following a petition by the mother of one of the victims.
The convict was accused of luring both children into his apartment shortly after his wife left home and violently raped them, one after the other.
He was charged to court for rape and offensive conduct contrary to Section 1 and 5 of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) 2015.
His trial began in 2016 but the case suffered a setback including the convict jumping bail and fleeing to Imo State. He was, however, tracked and re-arrested a few years later.
He was arraigned on the 7th of February 2022 on a 4-count charge. On the 15th of December 2023, he was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Delivering the judgment, the judge stated that: “Having considered all evidence adduced by the prosecution in this case, the prosecution having proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and following the sentencing guidelines in line with Section 1 of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015, I convict you as charged and sentence you to Life Imprisonment..”
Speaking on the development, the Director General of NAPTIP, Prof. Fatima Waziri–Azi commended the judiciary for delivering a commensurable punishment.
The DG while appreciating all frontline respondents who collaborated with NAPTIP throughout the progression of the case, assured that NAPTIP shall continue to ensure a violence free nation.
The present conviction was the second life imprisonment for rape and the fourth rape conviction in 2023.