By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Lugbe, Abuja on Tuesday sentenced one Friday Elijah to 6 years imprisonment for incest with his 13 year old daughter and inflicting physical injury on her.
Friday Elijah, 35 years old indigene of Cross River State was arrested in July 2015 by operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) after he had carnal knowledge of her. After the girl exposed him to his relatives, Mr. Elijah broke her head with a 7Up bottle.
The offences which are punishable under sections 2 (1) and 25 of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 were committed in Ushafa, Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory.
In a statement to LEADERSHIP, signed by NAPTIP’s Head, Press and Public Relations, Josiah Emerole said “On arraignment, Friday Elijah pleaded not guilty to the two count charges of incest and inflicting physical injury to a person. The case therefore, went through full trial”
On Wednesday, 8th November, 2017, the presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Angela. Otaluka found him guilty of the counts in Charge No. CR/103/16 and deferred the sentence to Tuesday 12th December 2017.
However, on resumption of sitting this Tuesday, Hon. Justice Otaluka sentenced him to 6 years imprisonment for incest and inflicting physical injury on his daughter.
After listening to the testimonies of the Defendant’s wife and his cousin as to his character, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 310 and 311 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and the plea of allocotus (Leniency) from the Defence Counsel, he was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment without an option of fine for Count 1 (Inflicting Physical Injury on a Person) and 4 years Imprisonment without an option of fine for Count 2 (Incest). Both sentences are to run concurrently.
Reacting to the judgment, the Director-General, Dame Julie Okah-Donli commended the presiding Judge for courage. She stated that violence against persons was old fashioned and that those who still get involved in such an act must be dealt with in accordance with the law.