Nigeria

Islamic teacher gets life sentence for defiling eight pupils

Dr Femi Olaleye, Medical Director of Optimal Cancer Care Foundation, has been remanded to Ikoyi Correctional Centre by the Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court in Ikeja pending the fulfilment of his bail conditions.

Adam Farouk, an Islamic instructor in Lagos State, was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday by Justice Abiola Soladoye of an Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court for molesting eight of his students.

Farouk sexually assaulted the students in Balogun Street, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, between November 2018 and February 2019. The victims were six to eleven years old at the time.

The government of Lagos State filed eight charges of sexual assault against the convicted man.

Justice Soladoye noted that the prosecution had proven beyond a reasonable doubt the elements of the eight offences that were close to constituting sexual assault by penetration.

The inmate was labelled as “morally corrupt” and “an embarrassment to the Islamic faith” by Soladoye.

The judge found the survivors’ testimony credible because it was consistent, and they presented themselves honestly in court.

She stated that other evidence verified the pupils’ identification of the convicted man as the educator who had inserted his index fingers into their privates.

Judge Soladoye agreed with the testimony of the 10th prosecution witness, Mrs Oluchi Nwoke-Okoi, a midwife with the Women at Risk International Foundation, who testified that the pupils had sustained vaginal injuries.

Another finding made by the judge was that the defendant had the students turn their backs as he defiled them.

During his trial, the convicted man lied to the court, but Justice Soladoye found that the court did not believe him.

She criticised the defendant, saying, “The defendant’s demeanour 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 made to pay for his dirty sexual indiscretions.”

The judge urged the government of Lagos State to better police schools.

She further asked Muslim communities to regularly visit Islamic schools to hear directly from children and parents about the school’s activities and the teachers’ demeanour.

“The need for this can never be overemphasised 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 encouraged to speak up so 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.

“On 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 held.

In addition, the judge mandated that the convicted individual’s name be added to the Lagos State Sexual Offenders Register.

A total of ten witnesses were presented by the prosecution, while only the defendant testified on the defense’s behalf.

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