Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
A magistrateâ€™s court in Yenagoa, wednesday, sentenced a 40-year- old paedophile, identified as Godbless Ogiode from Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, to eight years in prison.
Ogiode, a resident of Sandfill area of Kpasia community in the state capital, described as an adult who is sexually attracted to children was said to have defiled many children in the area comprising both sexes before one of the affected parents reported him.
The court presided over by Utovie Spiff convicted the suspect on two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse of a four-year-old girl and unlawful carnal knowledge of a five-year-old boy.
It was gathered that the efforts of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), who took the case of Godbless to the police, led to the conviction.
The paedophile, who was in the habit of indecently assaulting little children, was said to have defiled the boy through his anus and the girl through her private part.
Some of the parents and guardians of the victims on many occasions forgave the man after receiving reports of his assaults on their children, it was learnt.
But luck ran out on him when on September 15, the Chairperson of FIDA in Bayelsa, Dise Ogbise-Erhisere, was contacted by a concerned indigene, who reported a new case of the manâ€™s escapades to her.
Ogbise-Erhisere, along with two lawyers and members of FIDA, Boma Miebai and Amaso Daniel reportedly lodged a formal complaint on the matter to the Ekeki Police Station in Yenagoa.
The police were said to have arrested the man and arraigned him before the court, where he pleaded guilty to the two-count charge.
Expressing delight over the judgment, Ogbise-Erhisere said it was victory for FIDA Bayelsa and a warning to paedophiles, child molesters and abusers.
Ogbise-Erhisere, who was also the complainant in the matter, said she was happy with the speedy dispensation of justice on the case.
She explained that she got a distress call from a concerned neighbour following the defilement of the boy.
â€œI was informed by neighbours that the convict is a serial molester of children there and that the mother of the four-year-old girl caught him having carnal knowledge of her daughterâ€, she said.
She commended the police for swiftly arresting and arraigning the man and praised the members of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Bayelsa, for their roles in treating the victims.
The rights activist urged those who are in similar circumstances to promptly report to the authorities and civil society organisations to ensure that such persons are quickly taken out of circulation before they do more damage.