A 40-year-old man, Vincent Akande, has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for raping a 14-year-old epileptic teenager in Edo state.
The former vigilante, raped the epileptic minor at gunpoint, while she was by the riverside at Ososo community gathering stones for sale .
In his ruling, Nosa Musoe, chief magistrate of the Igarra magistrate court, Akoko-Edo, condemned the “outrageous” incidents of sexual assaults in the local government area.
BraveHeart Initiative (BHI), an NGO that seeks justice for abuse victims, expressed satisfaction with the verdict. BHI has been following up with the case to ensure that the victim gets justice.
Priscilla Usiobaifo, founder/executive director of BHI, described the verdict as “a glint of hope” for victims of sexual assault. She said;
“This verdict offers a glint of hope for justice to sexual assault survivors in a country where security agencies, health workers, traditional stakeholders and many first responders show low interest and willingness to sanction sexual offenders.
”40 yrs old Vincent Akande did not only sexually assault the 14 years old victim but also threatened her with death.
“He held his hunting gun towards her and threatened to kill her in a similar manner as was a 3yr old sexually assaulted and murdered in the same environs.
“He took advantage of the victim’s vulnerability due to her disability.
“The case of Vincent Akande was reported to BHI on the 22nd of May 2019. The case was transferred to SCIID, Benin on the 29th of May and the matter arraigned in court on the 3rd of June, 2019.
“Vincent Akande’s case brings to fore the Sexual and Reproductive Health challenges of girls with disabilities in Nigeria. Vincent sexually assaulted a 14 years old girl with a medical history of epilepsy.
“The girl lacked basic education due to her medical condition and lived most of her childhood as an Out-Of-School girl. Being Out-of-School and from a poor home, this survivor has a significant vulnerability index.”