A 58-year-old man identified as John Ofuegbu has been sentenced to two years in prison by a High Court in Port Harcourt.
Ofuegbu was convicted after being found guilty of sexually abusing and exploiting his ten year old biological daughter, Ebubechukwu Ofuegbu.
Ebubechukwu in her testimony had told the court that her father had canal knowledge of her three times; twice in his room at home and once at a hotel in Trans Amadi, Port Harcourt.
Ebube recounted that, “My father asked if I like him. He said I should sit down on the bed. I asked him, Daddy what are you doing. My daddy removed his clothes and also asked me to remove my clothes. I was crying and now said I will report to my mother but he said I should not tell her. Another time, my mother travelled, my daddy took me to a hotel at Trans Amadi where he paid 4 thousand naira for a room. At the hotel, we watched a film which they say is a corrupt film. My mother took us to the hospital and found out that I have been having sex. She asked me who did it, and I told her that it was my father.”
Meanwhile, trial Judge, Justice Adolphus Enebeli in his judgment said he is convinced that the accused person committed the abominable crime, adding that he violated sections of the Rivers state Child Rights Law of 2009.
The Judge said “evidences were presented showing that the vagina of the victim had been ruptured as a result of frequent and heavy penetration.”
The Judge said there is a clear evidence that Ebube was abused. Justice Enebeli said he conducted two major tests to ascertain whether the child is proficiently intelligent to be able to ascertain whether she really knew/understood what happened to her.
The Judge said Ebube was unshaken and has a clear understanding of her sexual abuse. He said he was impressed by the truthfulness of the girl.
He said he also discovered that Ofuegbu and his wife were estranged, adding that there was bitterness in the matrimony.
The Judge resolved that “Ofuegbu took undue advantage of the natural love and bond of his daughter. He lured his child, Ebubechukwu by exploiting and manipulating his own daughter. He abandoned the duty of a father to protect his won daughter.”
Justice Enebeli berated Ofuegbu for exploiting and taken advantage of the bond between him and his daughter.
He said the sexual abuse has exposed the child to long term psychologial trauma.
He said the accused has been in prison for about five years since the beginning of the trial in 2011, noting that the offence is a punishable crime of 14 years in prison without option of fine.
The accused was, however, sentenced to 2 years in prison.
When the court asked if he had anything to say; Ofuegbu said “I don’t have anything to say but God in heaven will judge me. I have never abused Ebubechukwu in anyway. Where are other women? I know all these things happened because of the problem I have with my wife. But for who ever is behind this, God will judge.”
Speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt, State Prosecuting counsel, Cordelia Eke said the judgment should serve a deterrent to other randy fathers.
Eke said, “we derive some solace in the fact that justice has been served. I know that it cannot compensate for the trauma that she will be going through but I know that this goes to show that the state could do something about what happened to the little girl. We also hope that those that are victims of sexual offences such as this will be encouraged to speak up and follow up their cases to a logical conclusion.”
ON his part, Egesin Owana who is the counsel to the convicted John Ofuegbu said he may appeal the judgment.