An Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court on Tuesday sentenced a cleric, Adam Farouk, to octuple (eight) life imprisonments for defiling eight pupils in his class.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the pupils were aged from six to 11 years as at the time of the offence.
Justice Abiola Soladoye held that the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt, the ingredients of the eight counts bordering on sexual assault by penetration.
Soladoye described the cleric as morally bankrupt and an embarrassment to the Islamic faith.
The judge said that the court did not fall for his lies.
According to her, evidence of the pupils were corroborated as they identified the cleric as their teacher who penetrated their vaginas with his index fingers.
Soladoye also held that evidence of the 10th prosecution witness, a midwife with Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), Oluchi Nwoke-Okoi, revealed that the pupils had vaginal injuries.
The judge also held that the defendant asked the pupils to turn their backs while he defiled them one-by-one.
She said: ”The demeanour of the defendant is nothing to write home about, his stony face appears mischievous, he is extremely unkind and ruthless, fingering his students with his index fingers.
”What an Islamic teacher, who took undue advantage of poor students in Islam and messed around with their purity and dignity.
”He is meant to teach his students morals, discipline and values, but alas, the reverse is the case.
”The dignity and safety of our students must be cherished. Dirty Islamic teacher of his kind must be locked away and be made to pay for his dirty sexual indiscretions.”
The judge called on Lagos State Government to adequately monitor educational institutions.
She also urged Muslim communities to regularly visit Islamic schools unannounced and get feedbacks firsthand from students and parents on the activities and conducts of their teachers.
”The need for this can never be over-emphasised in view of the rampant scenes of this heinous crime.
”I salute the courage of the survivors for speaking up against the defendant without any fear of intimidation.
”Abused children are to be encouraged to speak up so that their assailants will be shamed and sanctioned accordingly.
”A teacher is a role model, setting the pace and leading by example as he is expected to impact knowledge and morals, but this defendant is nothing of such as he threw caution to the wind and messed around.
”Reviewing the testimonies of each of the prosecution witnesses and that of the sole defence witness, I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the prosecution has proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.
”The defendant is hereby convicted of all the charges and sentenced to life imprisonment on each of the eight counts, but the sentences shall run concurrently,” Soladoye said.
The judge also ordered that the convict should have his name written in the Sexual Offenders Register of Lagos State.
NAN reports that prosecution presented 10 witnesses during the trial while the defendant testified as the only defence witness.
The prosecution submitted that the convict committed the offences from November 2018 to February 2019 on Balogun Street, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Sexual assault contravenes Section 261 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.