A 32-year-old newly married man, Francis Azukwo has been arrested for penetrating a six-year-old girl in the Ikotun area of Lagos State.

Francis allegedly penetrated the victim’s private parts and anus during the sexual assault.

Azukwo and the victim’s mother, Joy were neighbours and had been living together in the house for some time.

Joy at the time, was in the hospital giving birth to a baby when the incident happened.

While she was in the hospital, Ngozi was left in the care of her 16-year-old cousin as the father had traveled for work. When the mother of the victim came back, she noticed her daughter’s strange movement, carried out an examination on her daughter’s private part and discovered some bruises.

Upon inquiry, Ngozi told her mother that it was Uncle Francis that defiled her. The matter was reported to the police and a test was run on the victim at the Mirabel Centre, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, where it was confrimed that the victims hymen had been broken as a result of penetration.

Francis denied the allegations on his arrest, and was yesterday, arraigned before the Ogba Magistrate court on two counts of defilement and indecent assault.

The charges read, “That you, Francis Azukwo, sometime in the month of September 2017, at Ikotun, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did unlawfully and indecently assault one Ngozi (not real name), thereby committing an offence.

“That you, Francis Azukwo, on the same date, time and place, in the aforesaid magisterial district, did defile one Ngozi, thereby committing an offence.”

The police prosecutor, Inspector Clifford Ogu, said the offences were punishable under sections 135 and 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.

The defendant pleaded not guilty and elected summary trial.

The defence counsel, Godwin Ohaekwe, appealed to the court to grant the defendant bail in liberal terms.

Holding a watching brief for the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender was Mrs. Ibukun Ibikunle, who represented the complainant.

The magistrate, Ojo, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N400,000 with two sureties in like sum.

“One of the sureties must be a level 12 officer in the Lagos State Civil Service and the other must be a registered property owner in Lagos State. The sureties should present evidence of three years’ tax payments to the state and their addresses must be verified,” she added.

The defence counsel, Ohaekwe, appealed against the condition of the level 12 civil servant, saying the defendant hailed from Akwa Ibom State and it might be difficult for him to meet such a condition.

The magistrate rejected the appeal and adjourned the case till February 12, 2018 for advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.

Source: The Punch