A judge of the Ekiti State High Court, Ado-Ekiti, on Wednesday, granted pardon to a rapist, Dennis Kiyede, just after he convicted him for raping a 16-year-old girl.

John Adeyeye, the judge, said he pardoned Mr Kiyede because of his ill health.

The accused was being prosecuted by the police on a one-count-charge of rape of his 16-year-old cousin.

In his judgment, Mr Adeyeye noted that the prosecution had established that the offence of rape was committed by the accused person.

“I find him guilty of the offence as charged and he is accordingly convicted,” he said.

The judge, however, went on to pardon the convicted man, citing health reasons.

“It is obvious that the accused is very ill as he could no longer stand on his feet,” the judge said.

“The accused person, who has been in custody since he was arrested, must have learnt his lessons.

“In the circumstances, the accused person is hereby cautioned and discharged.”

According to the charge sheet, the offence was committed on or about the February 14, 2019 at Ilupeju, Ijan Ekiti, when the convict raped his 16-year-old cousin, who lived with him.

The prosecution held that the offence violated section 31(2) of the Childs Rights Law, Cap. C7, Laws of Ekiti State of Nigeria, 2005.

To prove his case, the prosecutor, Felix Awoniyi, called two witnesses while the accused confessional statement was also tendered as exhibit.

The accused spoke through a counsel from Legal Aid Council, Yinka Opaleke, who during allocutus pleaded passionately with the court for clemency, describing the accused as a first offender.

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Mr Opaleke added that the accused had been in the police custody since he was arrested and above all, was seriously ill and could no longer stand on his feet.

The Kayode Fayemi administration had, since its inception, launched a crackdown on rape, particularly of minors in the state.

It also adopted a naming and shaming policy which requires anyone convicted of rape to be publicly humiliated in addition to the conviction by the courts.

PREMIUM TIMES , however, gathered that the Ministry of Justice is looking at the judgment to see if the pardon covered the convict’s “naming and shaming.”

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