No hiding place for sexual offenders, Edo First Lady vows, as man bags 14 years for rape
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No hiding place for sexual offenders, Edo First Lady vows, as man bags 14 years for rape

The Edo State First Lady and Chairperson of the Edo State Gender-Based Violence Management Committee, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, has said the state has secured the conviction of one more sexual offender, a 57-year-old man, who was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment without an option of fine for raping a minor.

The sexual offender, Michael Ogoke, was arraigned by the police before an Oredo Magistrate Court on May 11, 2021, on a one-count charge of rape and was subsequently sentenced to 14 years imprisonment without any option of fine by Magistrate E. O Aimofumeh.

Speaking to journalists during a press conference at the Government House, Benin City, Mrs. Obaseki said the government remains committed to reducing incidences of sexual and domestic abuse, ensuring justice for all survivors.

Reassuring that the state government will continue to strengthen institutions and mechanisms to stop all forms of sexual and gender-based violence, the Edo first lady said there’s no hiding place for sexual offenders in the state.

According to her, "We are happy that Edo State Gender-Based Violence Management Committee was able to secure justice for that little, innocent girl who was raped by one Michael Ogoke, a 57-year-old man.

"We are hoping that this would send a message around the world that, in Edo, there is no hiding place for sexual predators. No more covering up for such wicked crimes. No matter who you are, the law is not a respecter of anybody. This government is saying that if you commit such a crime, you will face the full weight of the law.

"We are confident that with this desirable judgment, we have gotten what we hope to achieve as a committee and as a people. If we keep strengthening institutions and mechanisms that have been established by the government to fight sexual and gender-based violence, we will keep getting results.”

She added, “In the not so distant future, we believe that in our state, we will drastically reduce the level of violence perpetrated against people and hopefully this will also spread across Nigeria and bring about a saner society, ensuring a healthier and more humane society for every human being, especially our innocent children to grow up and actualize their dreams.”

The first lady further disclosed that the state government is providing counselling, psycho-social and medical support as well as all other forms of protection for victims of gender-based violence across the state.

In his contribution, the Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comr. Philip Shaibu, said the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration will continue to pursue programmes and policies to ensure the protection of lives and property of all Edo citizens, adding that such responsibility is the essence of governance.

He noted, "We are celebrating this judgment because programmes like this have been initiated by previous governments and at the end of the day, it just ends up on the shelf with elaborate celebration.

"We want to thank the first lady and her team for not just being another government that will celebrate programmes and there is no result. This result has set the pace not only for Edo, but for the country at large and it will boost the campaign against sexual gender-based violence.”


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