The Children, Sexual and Gender-based Violence Court, located in the High Court of Awka, Anambra State, has sentenced a middle-aged man named Kenneth Nwangu to ten years in prison for defiling his only child, a nine-year-old daughter.

After strong evidence established the defendant’s guilt as charged, the state government filed three counts against him, and the judgment was rendered in all three cases.

As a result, he was found guilty on count one of having sex with a nine-year-old, which is punishable by Section 34 of the Child Rights Law of Anambra State of Nigeria, 2004. He was given a seven-year prison sentence.

In addition, the court sentenced the defendant to one year in prison for inflicting emotional and psychological abuse on the victim and two years in prison for inflicting physical injuries on the victim.

Sections 4 and 16 of the 2017 Anambra State, Nigeria, Violence Against Persons, Prohibition and Protection Laws punish the two offenses.

In rendering its decision, the court considered testimony from prosecution witnesses, including the victim, and also considered evidence suggesting that the defendant had been caring for the victim for approximately a year following the victim’s mother’s departure.

The defendant was given the opportunity to address the court as to why he should not receive the maximum sentence of life in prison for raping his child.Reacting, the defendant first denied defiling his child, saying the police had arrested him on the basis of an allegation he made about a woman he typically left the child with after his wife separated.

He did, however, later confess to the crime and beg for forgiveness from the court. His defense attorney also made a similar plea, arguing that the defendant was a first-time offender and that the victim was his only child, among other things.

The victim was to remain under the supervision of the Anambra State Government, and the court ordered that the seven, two, and one-year prison terms run concurrently.Prof. Sylvia Ifemeje, the head of the prosecution team in this case and the attorney general and commissioner for justice for Anambra State, responded to the ruling by calling it a positive step that would discourage future offenders.

The state government has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual assaults, which Ifemeje emphasized cannot be negotiated.

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