Ekpo Lawrence, 42, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison by the Lagos State Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court in Ikeja on Thursday for defiling and impregnating his 15-year-old daughter.
Lawrence was sentenced by Justice Abiola Soladoye after she found that the prosecution had proven the elements of the accusation of defilement beyond a reasonable doubt.
The state government had told the court that the convict committed the offence between December 2018 and June 2019 at his home in the Agege area of the state.
The prosecution had told the court that the convict, who was 39 years old when the offence was committed, defiled his 15-year-old daughter by having unlawful sexual intercourse with her.
In handing down her judgment, Justice Soladoye held that the evidence given by the prosecution was consistent while that of the defendant was inconsistent and manifestly unreliable, adding that the convict’s denial of the allegations was a calculated attempt to mislead the court.
“The immoral behaviour of having sex with his biological daughter is toxic, absolutely disgraceful, and an abomination contrary to the law of nature. It is morally reprehensible as it is incest,” she said.
“Where is the self-respect of this defendant? How bizarre! Having sex with his daughter obviously took away his ability to make rational decisions. He foolishly tampered with the purity and self-esteem of his child.
“I pray for inner peace for the victim to relieve her of fear and hatred for her father who sexually molested her several times so that she can deal with her pains, trials, and tribulations and go on to live a purpose-driven life.
“A father should be a trusted person in the life of a child. He was supposed to keep his child safe but betrayed her sexually; he ripped purity off her body and her soul. This is taboo and he must no doubt face the music for his morbid, sordid sexual misconduct.
“For the above-stated reasons, the defendant is sentenced to life imprisonment with no option of fine,” the judge held.
Justice Soladoye further directed that the convict’s name should be registered in the Sex Offenders Register as maintained by the Lagos State Government.
During the course of the trial, four witnesses, including the survivor, a medical doctor, a social worker, and a police officer testified for the prosecution while Lawrence testified solely in his defence.
The survivor, who was 17-year-old when she gave her evidence in court, said her father had on numerous occasions defiled her whenever her stepmother travels.
She said the incest came to light when she confided in a social worker in her school about her father’s actions.
Dr Maria Fadaka, of the Mirabel Center (a Sexual Assault Referral Center), said that after examining the survivor, her findings had revealed evidence of vaginal penetration and early pregnancy.
Lawrence had denied having sexual intercourse with his child claiming he was at work when the defilements allegedly took place.