Sola Raphael who is just 17 years old had just completed her Secondary School education at Abanikanda Grammar School. Sola is a very brilliant and intelligent student who can be best described as the pride of any parent or teacher. She held the post of the Senior Prefect Girl in her secondary school and was awarded as the best student of her set.
Sola lost her father at the age of 3 years old and had since relied solely on her mother for support. Her mother sells fruits at Adelu junction where Sola, as a well trained and understanding child, goes to help her attend to her customers. This had been her practice even right from primary school; she wastes no time in getting to her mother’s fruit shed immediately the school closes. The shed is made of woods and planks covered with rusted roofing sheets with enough space to conveniently house two large fruit stands.
On the 3rd of September, 2016, Sola was the only one at the fruit shed attending to customers when Mr. Segun Ojo stopped by to buy some fruits to break his fast. Mr. Ojo is a Chief Geological Consultant with Shell Nigeria (Nig.) Ltd. Upon getting to the front of the fruit shed, he packed and rolled down the glass of his black, neat and shinning Benz 4matic and signalled to Sola.
Sola, who was totally engrossed with the book she was reading, neither noticed the presence of Mr. Ojo nor his signals. Mr. Ojo humbly got down from his car and approached. “Young girl, where is your mother? You’re so serious with the book, are you having an exam?”, Mr. Ojo asked. Sola wasted no time in replying him, “I’m sorry Sir. I’m taking UTME very soon and mother is not around because she went to source for the remaining sum we need to secure my form”.
“Do you even have a WAEC result?” Mr. Ojo asked. “Yes sir, I have all my papers already”, Sola replied politely. “Very good. What are your grades?” Mr. Ojo inquired. Sola smiled and responded, “To the glory of God, I had 9 As but my Yoruba Language result was not released Sir”. Mr Ojo was dumbfounded and all he could mutter was, “Wow! That’s fantastic!! You must be a very bright student”
Mr. Ojo was not only amazed but also inspired at the level of faith and diligence of this young girl. He bought a basket of oranges and asked Sola to walk with him to the car. Getting into the car, Mr. Ojo opened his safe and handed Sola N500 for the oranges he bought. He also gave her N20,000, “take this token, secure your UTME form and use the rest for upkeeps” he said. Very elated, Sola knelt down and appreciated him for his kind gesture.
Sola relayed the good news to her mother upon her return and she was filled with so much joy. Sola secured the UTME form, wrote the exam and scored 321. From the moment she saw her result, she took her UTME result slip to her mother’s fruit shed everyday with the intention of showing Mr. Segun Ojo. On the 3rd of May, 2017, Mr. Ojo came around after Sola’s long anticipation. Hardly had he parked his car than Sola ran towards him to appreciate his support, “Thank you very much Sir! I got 321 in my UTME”.
Mr. Ojo was very excited and he congratulated her. He bought some fruits from her and went his way. “How I wish my mother was around to see this nice man”, Sola thought.
Within a twinkle of an eye, she saw Mr. Kalid approaching the fruit shed. Mr. Kalid got to the shed and asked “can I have some oranges?”. Sola replied, “Yes sir, how many Sir?”. With the speed of lightening, Mr. Kalid pushed Sola to the ground and held her hands. Sola struggled helplessly with him while screaming, “Stop!!!! Don’t spoil my life! Don’t kill me! Leave me alone!”. Mr. Kalid tore Sola clothes, pressed her breasted and thrust his penis into her vagina.
Mr. Kalid left the scene hurriedly and left Sola who was soaked in the pool of blood crying. Sola’s mother returned to her fruit shed to meet her daughter in the worst state she could ever imagine. She cried profusely and finally went to report Mr. Kalid at the Police Station. The Police arrest Mr. Kalid whose defence was that Sola consented. “I asked her whether I can have some oranges and she said yes”, he insisted.
The Investigating Police Officer(IPO) has asked Sola’s mother to bring the torn and blood-soaked clothes to the police station. She has been wondering for what purpose the IPO made the request for the clothes. “My Sola could not have consented! I trust her”, she thought.
Points to Note:
1. Rape occurs when a person has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman without her consent, if with her consent, by means of threat or intimidation, by means of fraudulent misrepresentation as to the act or by impersonating her husband.
2. The term “unlawful carnal knowledge” has been statutorily defined as “carnal connection which takes place otherwise than between husband and wife.”
3. Penetration is an important element of carnal knowledge or carnal connection.
4. In order to establish the offence of rape, the prosecution has to prove the following:
(i) That the accused had sexual intercourse with the prosecutrix (victim).
(ii) The sexual intercourse was done in circumstances under the provision of criminal code i.e. that the accused had unlawful carnal knowledge of prosecutrix without her consent, if with her consent, by means of threat or intimidation, by means of fraudulent misrepresentation as to the act or by impersonating her husband.
(iii) The prosecutrix wasn’t the wife of the accused or if she was the wife, had not attained the age of puberty.
(iv) The accused had the intention (mens rea) to have sexual intercourse with the prosecutrix without her consent, or he was reckless and careless regarding her consent.
(v) There was penetration.
5. In proving rape, the oral evidence of the prosecutrix must be corroborated in order to secure conviction. For examples, the torn or blood-soaked clothes of the prosecutrix must be used to confirm her testimony
6. A person cannot be convicted of raping a child under the age of 13 on the uncorroborated testimony of one witness.
7. In the offence of rape, the guilty act (actus reus) is penetration while the guilty mind (mens rea) is the intention to have unlawful carnal knowledge.
8. The punishment for rape according to S.358 of the Criminal Code is life imprisonment with or without caning.
It is on this basis I will advise Sola’s mother to release the torn and blood-soaked clothes of her daughter to the Police so they can use it to corroborate the testimony to be given by Sola. If the case is diligently prosecuted, Mr. Kalid should be convicted of rape because he had carnal knowledge of Sola without her consent.
THE LEGAL DIARY
Joseph Jagunmolu Ogunmodede