The wife of the Edo State governor and chairperson, Edo State Gender-Based Violence Management Committee (GBVMC), Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, has described the judgment of a Benin Magistrate court, that sentenced a 40-year-old man to 14 years imprisonment without any option of fine for rapping a seven-year-old girl as the appropriate verdict that would serve as a deterrent to others who are in the habit of preying on innocent victims.
The judgement which was handed over by E.O. Aimofumeh, sentenced Michael Ogoke, in a one-count charge of rape under section 358 of the criminal code.
Michael Ogoke was arraigned on the 11th of May 2021in case number MOR/199C/2021A and was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment without an option of fine on Friday, April 1, 2022.
Betsy Obaseki, the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of the state, Wole Iyamu, while addressing a press conference on Tuesday, expressed their satisfaction with the court judgment secured by the committee.
The first lady and her committee vowed that the state will continue to deal ruthlessly with the offenders of Gender-Based Violence irrespective of whose horse is gorged.
The outcome of the judgment, Mrs Obaseki said, has spurred the committee to keep on waging the war against any forms of Gender-Based Violence in the state.
“I keep saying conviction, conviction and at the end of our work. When we get a conviction, we are energized and we are happy and with this judgment, it is now crystal clear that there is no hiding place for any person who is indulging in any forms of Gender-Based Violence” she also said.
She further added that with the sanity that has begun in the state as regards to war against rape and other related abuses against the girl-child, it will also spread across the country.
While responding to the question on settlement out of court, the First Lady of the state, said, a rape case is a case against the state and that if the parents of the victim suggested out of court settlement, the state will take over the case, noting that it is a crime against the state in itself.