Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The magistrate court in Evbuoriaria, Benin City, Thursday sentenced 52 years-old herbalist; Jacob Alonge, a native of Ososo in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State for 21 years for raping and impregnating his 17 years-old daughter, Gift Alonge, now late.
He was sentenced on three-count charge of unlawful possession of the victims’ pubic hair; unlawfully and indecently having canal knowledge
of his biological daughter and repeated sexual assault and impregnating her.
Unfortunately, the victim, Gift, who was five months pregnant and four others who were helping to prosecute the court case died in a ghastly motor accident on January 16 this year when they were travelling to Benin for the judgment.
Other victims in the accident were Miss Rhoda Braimoh, a staff of a non-governmental organisation, Miss Promise Ezekiel, BraveHeart Initiative for Youth and Women (BHI), which has been helping to prosecute the case; the victim’s maternal uncle, Mr. Ukere Adagbogu and the Paul Opashi, driver of the vehicle they were going with .
Earlier, the convict recanted his plea of guilty to not guilty and the case started afresh.
In her ruling yesterday, the Magistrate; Mrs D.I Adamaigbo, sentenced Jacob Alonge to five years, two years and 14 years respectively on the three count charges and they are to run consecutively.
She said: “He (convict), consecutively had sex with her who is his own daughter and got her pregnant and thereby subjected her to shame and emotional stress. May her soul rest in peace! To serve as deterrent to others, and would-be offenders, we are of the opinion that the defendant should not have a space in a decent society.” The magistrate added that “the statement of the victim and the evidence of the PW1 confirmed what the victim said that she was five months pregnant and that she was demoralised, emotionally distressed is sufficient corroboration that the victim was indeed sexually assaulted
“It has been established beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had canal knowledge of the victim as she said in her statement thus: ‘My father by name Jacob Alonge used to wake me up at night and said I should follow him for prayers; when we reach inside the bush, he will force me and have sexual intercourse with me’.
“Then in the second statement which she made at the state police headquarters, she stated and I quote: ‘last year which is 2017, my father, by name, Joseph Alonge, has been having sex with me, he threatened me not to tell anybody and if I do, he will kill me.’”
“She stated further in the same statement that and I quote : ‘One night, he called me and put me on top of a stone and used razor blade to shave my private body and threatened me not to tell anybody’.
This statement was corroborated by the statement of the police in evidence. “The convict admitted in his statement and the law is that evidence admitted need no further proof, the defence that he was lured into the crime by his own daughter is an afterthought. We, therefore, find him guilty of each of the counts” Reacting to the judgment, the Executive Director, BraveHeart Initiative for Youth and Women (BHI), Priscillia Usiobaifo, said: “We have seen how resilience can prove a worthwhile.
I am very happy that there is no option of fine because we have had several cases that we won and they will give options of fine. This very judgment has encouraged us and those that died did not die in vain”.