An Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic and Violence Court on Tuesday convicted and sentenced a 51-year-old pastor, Nduka Anyanwu, to life imprisonment for defiling and impregnating two teenage sisters.
Justice Abiola Soladoye handed down the sentence after finding Anyanwu guilty of the offence.
Anyanwu was arraigned on April 17, 2022, on two counts of defilement by the Lagos State Government.
The offence was said to have been committed between 2019 and August 2020 at Arowojobe Street, in the Oshodi area of the state.
According to the prosecution, the offence is punishable under Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.
The defendant pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned, trial commenced and ended on October 11, 2022.
The prosecution called six witnesses, while the defendant testified as his sole witness.
When the matter came up on Tuesday for judgment, Olushola Shoneye announced his appearance for the state, but the defence was not represented.
During the trial, the first prosecution witness testified that though she is now 15-year-old, she was 13-year-old at the time incident happened.
She testified that the defendant was known to her as the pastor of their church and that he had been having sex with her and warned her not to tell anyone.
The victim stated that the defendant said she would not get pregnant, but she eventually got pregnant and had a child for the defendant.
The second prosecution witness, the older sister to PW1, now 19-year-old, but was 17-year-old, at the time of the incident, collaborated the first witness’ testimony that the defendant was their pastor.
She narrated how the defendant had sexual intercourse with her with the consent of her parents, that he would take her abroad for greener pastures, and she started visiting him.
A guardian and counsellor with Lagos State, Mrs Memunat Dawudu, who collaborated on the evidence of the victims, testified that she got to know about the matter on August 3, 2020, from the Oshodi Primary Health Centre.
The father of the victims, in his testimony, stated that he knew the defendant, as he was a church member, and also his friend that he was responsible for his two daughters’ pregnancies.
He said he was aware that the defendant was having sex with his daughters.
The mother of the victims, in her evidence, stated that she was shocked when she found out that her two daughters were impregnated by the same man.
Anyanwu, who testified, in his defence, said it was the father of the victims who gave him the second prosecution witness, as a wife and they were having conjugal relations.
While delivering judgment, the judge held that the prosecution was able to discharge the burden of proof placed on it, on the charge of defilement.
Justice Sholadoye held that the three ingredients of defilement, were that the child was underage, the defendant had sexual intercourse with the victim and the consent of the child was not sought.
She said,” I am convinced of the evidence led that the defendant is guilty as charged for the offence of defilement.
“The police shied away from their responsibility by not charging the father of the victims along with the defendant.
“The parents of these victims are highly irresponsible and reckless in their parenting. The negligence of their children has contributed to them now being grandparents of two additional mouths to feed. They should have been sanctioned and brought to justice.
“The parents of these two victims, who are biological sisters, acted irresponsibly by allowing their so-called pastor friend to deceive them that he will help them take their children abroad when the defendant cannot even help himself.
“Nduka Anyawu, you are hereby sentenced to life imprisonment, in respect of count one and count two.
“The sentence is to run concurrently, his name should be registered in the Lagos State offenders’ register.” – Punch.