A 35-year-old bus driver, Adeleke Adetayo, who was charged with sleeping with his nine-year-old and 13-year-old daughters, has been sentenced by the Family Court unit of an Ikeja Chief Magistrate’s Court to 14 years imprisonment.
Saturday PUNCH had in July 2013, reported how Adetayo’s two daughters were rescued after a sexual abuse that lasted two years.
Another report was published in December 2013, detailing the children’s life at the Lagos State Children’s Home, where they lamented that they had been scarred for life as a result of the abuse they suffered from their father.
The six-month trial of Adetayo culminated in him finally pleading guilty to sexual assault of his children,Saturday PUNCH learnt.
In her judgement, Chief Magistrate A. Oshoniyi found Adetayo guilty of sexual abuse and child defilement, sentencing him to seven years each for the crime against each child.
The judgment has been hailed by activists and government officials involved in the case, who stated that it was a victory for the Child Rights Act, 2005, which has hitherto been flouted by many criminals.
The Child Rights Act prescribes a sentence of 14 years for a person found guilty of having sexual intercourse with a child.
Director of the Esther Child Rights Foundation, Mrs. Esther Ogwu, who rescued the children and handed them over to the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviationn, hailed the judgment as a message to paedophiles in the state that the law would catch up with them.
She said, “I cannot be happier about how this case turned out. It is not only about the fact that the law has prevailed but that it is now clear that child defilement cases can be effectively prosecuted.
“Anybody who feels that defiling children is their core competence should understand that it is just a matter of time, the law will catch up with them. The lives of those children have been changed forever, their father should spend some time to ruminate about that behind bars.”
Director of Child Services in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Dada Fadairo, who had overseen the case of the children, told our correspondent to call back when she was contacted for comment on the judgment, but she did not pick subsequent calls.
There was no way of reaching the mother of the abused children, Kemi, for comment. The woman who has since remarried in Oyo Stat has remained incommunicado since her children were taken into custody by the state government.
Adetayo is to spend his sentence at the kirikiri prisons.