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Court jails widow for brutalising 12-year-old house help in Ondo



A 36-year-old widow, Opeyemi Omoyemi, who brutalized 12-year-old Joel Sunday has been sentenced to prison on a four-and-half jail term by an Akure Magistrate Court.

A widow and mother-of-four, Opeyemi Omoyemi, who brutalized her 12-year-old house help, has been sentenced to four-and-half years in prison by an Akure Magistrate Court.

The mother of four was assigned yesterday February 14 on a five-count charge for inflicting her 12-year-old house help, Joel with razor blade.

Opeyemi took this drastic action on the said account that she caught the minor stealing meat from her pot the last week.

She was said to have committed the dreadful action at her residence located in Idimango Adewale area of Ondo Road.

The now-convict pleaded guilty to the charges and was convicted and sentenced by the prosecutor to three-and-half years imprisonment with hard labour on count one charge bothering on grievous harm, with one-year imprisonment on count five bordering on child abuse.

ASP Emmanuel Tanimowo, the Prosecution Counsel, during the trial, applied for the withdrawal of count four that steps in on attempted murder, which was granted by the Magistrate, Mrs. O.A Edwin.

The defense counsel, Folusho Kayode, pleaded with the court to apply leniency on passing the sentence, all because the defendant was a first-time offender of the law.

Adding to his plea, he also opined that Opeyemi who happens to be a mother of four kids had been the one responsible for the welfare of the said victim.

He said: “The prayer for leniency is that the defendant has been the one solely responsible for the wellbeing and education of the victim. She has been doing this dutifully for the past four years since the death of her husband.

The defendant has kids and they have been crying since the incident happened, as they could not see their mother. The defendant is a first offender and has never been arrested for any inhumane behaviour. The court should graciously pass the sentence.”

Magistrate Edwin, while passing the sentence, which will run concurrently, said: “I know that the defendant is a first time offender but the facts of the offences are not only an abuse on the victim but an offense against public policy. The sentence must therefore deter others and also ensure that justice is done to the victim.”

Edwin thereafter pronounced the sentence and adjourned the case till April 13, 2022, for trial in count three of the charge hammering on trafficking in persons, to which the defendant had pleaded not guilty.

Holding a brief for the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Ondo State Chapter, Catherine Ogunjebi, stated that the defendant’s children are in the custody of women affairs at the children Home for proper care.

She said: “We are grateful that justice has been served to the victim and for the society. We are also grateful for the time that the defendant did not waste. She pleaded guilty and it was faster for us to have arrived at this conclusion. We are equally impressed because it is not a long sentence. She will be reunited with her children in due course as we know she also has children who are now in the custody of Women Affairs at the Children Home for proper care.”

The FIDA representative was of the opinion that it is wrong for her to have had two children, of age 12 years and 10 years in her custody for the purpose of domestic help. This, she said is against the Child Right Law of Ondo State and Child Right Act 2003 of Nigeria.

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