Judge calls him a paedophile, liar and dangerous offender
Emmanuel Ukudolo l Thursday, 22 December 2022
IKEJA, Lagos, Nigeria – A Domestic and Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos has sentenced a middle a middle-aged man, Sunday Nwokolo to life imprisonment for defiling a 12 year old girl.
Justice Ramon Oshodi, who had on December 12, 2022 convicted Nwokolo on one count charge of defilement sentenced the defendant to life imprisonment.
The judge however expressed misgiving about Section 137 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos, ACJL which in a way tied the hands of the judges by proscribing mandatory sentence of life imprisonment for offender without any discretion to a siting judge.
He also called on lawyers requesting mercy to approach the lawmakers to see possibility of amending that section of the law.
“ The legislature made it difficult for the courts because it has no discretion in this case. Except the lawmakers amends the law as we speak”, he said.
Before sentencing, the judge requested the defender to address the court. Sunday Nwokolo who was seen weeping in the dock however begged for mercy.
His lawyer, Chris Mbajike also pleaded with the judge to tamper justice with mercy.
According to him, the defendant is a first time offender and a law abiding citizen. “He does not even have any case with the police, we plead in his behalf that you should tamper justice with mercy. He has also showed remorse”, Mbajike said.
The prosecution, represented by Bukola Elizabeth Okeowo however urged the court to uphold section 137 of the ACJL and sentence the defendant accordingly.
“The defendant has been found guilty and I urged the judge to sentence him according to section 137 of the criminal law of Lagos State”, she said.
In his judgement, Justice Ramon Oshodi said the victim in this case was 12 years when the incident happened.
According to him, the defendant said the police tortured him to make a confessional statement which he did not deny.
The judge quoted the defendant as saying that the police at Agboju Police Station forced him to write several statements which were torn into shreds until he wrote what they wanted and that the police threatened him about the fate of those who failed to do according to their bidding.
The judge who spoke about inconsistencies in his statement said the defendant embarked on a mission to defame the Nigeria Police Force with uncoordinated lies.
“Mr. Sunday Nwokolo, on 12 of December, 2022, I convicted you on one count of defilement based on ACJL, I have listened to your plea for mercy and leniency. I have also considered plea by Chris Mbajike.
“I have also heard of the prosecution refer to section 137 of the ACJL which proscribed life imprisonment. I do not have discretion in this matter but to refer to you as a paedophile, a lair and a dangerous offender.
“I referred to you as a liar, because despite the evidence you lied against the police at Agboju Police station and gender section of the police force.
“You are dangerous offender because the victim said that when you defiled her, blood came out of her vagina and you took her to bathroom to clean up yet you said it was her menstrual flow. You are a dangerous offender because the victim suffered immensely in your hand and no other child should be made to suffer similar fate.
“ In my opinion you are a dangerous offender, in you case I consider you meriting the sentence of life imprisonment. A dangerous offender that should be kept out of the public”, Justice Ramon Oshodi said.