The Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court sitting in the Ikeja area of Lagos State has sentenced a school bus driver, Michael Mowete, to life imprisonment for defil!ng a three-year-old girl (name withheld).

The presiding judge, Justice Rahman Oshodi, on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, held that the prosecution discharged the burden of proof against Mowete.

Justice Oshodi, in his judgement, said the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt the charge of defilement against the school bus driver.

The judge said: “The convict’s allegation of having an amorous relationship with the mother of the victim in her shop does not hold water.

“One of the defence witnesses, the school bus assistant, told the court that the convict was always in the bus whenever they dropped off the minor at her mother’s shop.

He stated that the prosecution gave direct evidence as the survivor, despite her age, narrated to the court how the driver defiled her.

The judge said the evidence of the minor was corroborated with her mother’s and the medical examination evidence, adding that the Investigative Police Officer (IPO) gave circumstantial evidence in the case.

Justice Oshodi said: “The mother of the girl, in her evidence, said that the bus driver dropped her daughter off and her daughter told her ‘Mummy, Uncle on September 27, 2019, Michael touched my bum bum and jumped on me’.

“The mother said she thought it was just an ordinary touch until she wanted to bathe her daughter at night and she started shouting when water touched her pr!vate part.

“In spite of the girl’s age, she demonstrated to the court, repeated how the defendant def!led her and said in her evidence that ‘Uncle Michael touched my bum bum and he jumped on me’.

“The defendant in his evidence said that he was alone with the girl on the day of the incident and this also corroborated the evidence of the mother that on September 27, 2019, the driver solely brought her child home at 6:00 p.m. as against the 3.00 p.m. which she usually return home.”

Justice Oshodi added the medical examination revealed recently repeated blunt force penetration of the vag!na.

The judge said: “It is evident that the defendant forcefully touched the girl with his hand and pen!s.

“The totality evidence, prosecutrix evidence, corroborate the mother’s evidence and that of the medical report. The circumstantial evidence of the police showed that the defendant committed the offence.

“Michael Mowete, this court has found you guilty of the charge of defilement.

“You have def!led a child, barely three years of age and you attempted to traumatise her family by fabricating that you had an amorous relationship with her mother.

“The mother of the child told this court that urine comes out of her daughter’s vagina every 15 to 30 minutes and this shows how far damage you have done to the child.

“You are hereby sentenced to life imprisonment and you shall serve the remainder of your term in the Maximum Correctional Centre.”

Justice Oshodi also ordered that the convict’s name be registered in the Lagos State S*xual Offences Register.

The Lagos State Lead Counsel, Babajide Boye, called four witnesses while the defence also called four witnesses.

The prosecutor told the court that the school bus driver committed the offence on Okeho Street, Isolo, and Lukmon Street in the Ago Okota area of Lagos on September 27, 2019.