College student Afeez Ogunbowale was Tuesday jailed 47 years in prison by a Lagos court for armed robbery and rape of two fellow students
The defendant was sentenced to 21 years each on two counts of rape and 5 years for conspiracy to commit robbery, but he he will serve 21 years as the sentences will run concurrently
Ogunbowale, a student of Lagos State University [LASU], was convicted by an Ikeja Special Offences Court for involvement in armed robbery and rape of two fellow LASU students
The victims, both Muslim and living in an off campus residence, were sexually assaulted and lost their virginity during a home invasion by a gang of five armed men in 2018
The victims testified that on April 18, 2018, a gang of five armed men invaded their off-campus apt
They told the court that they lost their virginities after they were raped by two members of the gang – Ogunbowale and another – who is at large
They victims and Ogunbowale belonged to the same faculty and they were able to to identify him on Facebook
The complainants testified that they confronted the suspect while in police custody at a police station, and he prostrated and begged for forgiveness
On hearing the sentence, Ogunbowale who has since been suspended by his school over the case wept profusely in the dock
A special offences court in Nigeria has sentenced a college student to serve 21 years behind bars for participating in a home invasion where two female students from the same school were robbed at gun point and sexually assaulted.
The Ikeja Special Offences Court had convicted Afeez Ogunbowale, a student of Lagos State University [LASU], involvement in armed robbery and rape of two fellow LASU students.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo sentenced Ogunbowale after finding him guilty of five counts bordering on conspiracy, rape and armed robbery.
Before handing down the sentence, Judge Taiwo said that the prosecution proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
She held that the testimony of the victims was compelling, adding that they were able to positively identify Ogunbowale as one of the bandits who invaded their residence two years ago..
“The defendant is hereby sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for conspiracy, 21 years’ imprisonment each for counts of armed robbery and 21 years’ imprisonment each for counts of rape. “The sentences are to run concurrently,” she said.
Arrested in September 2018, Ogunbowale pled not guilty at his arraignment for five-counts of armed robbery and rape.
The prosecutor, O.A Bajulaiye-Bishi, said the suspect committed the offense with four accomplices who are still at large on April 18, 2018 at the Okokomaiko area of Lagos.
“The defendant and his accomplices while armed with a gun, knife, machete and bottle robbed the students of their phones, power bank, ear piece, gold chain and N1,200.
“The defendant and his accomplice who is at large had unlawful sexual intercourse with the complainants.
“The offence contravene Sections 260(1) and 297(2)(a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015,” she said.
During the trial on Nov. 4, 2019, led in evidence by O.A Bajulaiye-Bishi, the prosecuting counsel, the students told the court that they were sophomores when the alleged rape and robbery happened.
The two young women said they were robbed by five men but raped by two members of the gang – Ogunbowale and another – who is at large. They said that they were able to identify Ogunbowale through Facebook, adding that they belonged to the same faculty. Both Muslim and virgins at the time, they lost their virginities during the assault
The complainants testified that when they confronted the convict at a police station after his arrest, he prostrated and begged for forgiveness.
In his defense on Sept. 30, 2020, the convict denied involvement in the crime and gave an alibi to the court.
Led in evidence by defense counsel, Mr Bisi Salau, he said that on the night the offences were committed, he was in the school premises preparing for an examination which was to begin in May 2018.
The victims identified as Student A and Student B, [names withheld], told the court that at around 3 am, a flashlight shone into their off-campus apartment, awaking them. Then five men including Ogunbowale, who were armed with a gun and machete forced their way into the home. the two students, told the court that they lost their virginities to the attack.
Student A, 23, told the court “they took three phones, a gold chain, earpiece, power bank and N1, 200 [$3]. Three of the men left, leaving the defendant and one other person who I cannot identify.
“The defendant [Ogunbowale], told the other guy ‘I want to sleep with these girls’. The defendant went to the toilet with my roommate while the second man tried to rape me.
“The second man could not penetrate me because I had an asthmatic attack and the second man left me to swap places with the defendant.
“The defendant came and had sex with me while I had the asthmatic attack and my roommate was screaming and pleading for him to leave me alone and he said in pidgin English ‘if she wan die, make she die’. [If she dies, so be it].
“The other three men came back into the apartment and saw the chaos. They told the two other men that this was not what they came here to do and they assisted in looking for my inhaler. My inhaler was found and they all left my apartment.”
when the robbers left Student A told the court, they filed a report at the local police precinct and they were referred to the Mirabel Center for medical examination and counselling.
“ When the defendant was apprehended and brought to the Ikeja Police Station, he was shocked when he saw us there, the victim told the court.
“He went on his knees and said to us in Yoruba ‘Alhaja please’,” Student A said.
Under cross-examination by the defense counsel, Bisi Salau, Student A said that she recognized Ogunbowale as her assailant because she had seen him a number of times on campus.
“The defendant has a group of friends in my class and his friend sent me a friendship request on Facebook.
“When I looked through his friends list, I saw the defendant’s photograph which I gave to the campus Department of State Security (DSS) official.
“I saw the defendant on campus and alerted the campus security.
That led to his arrested in September 2018.
“I was a virgin until the day that incident occurred,” she testified. Adding, “The five men who came to our apartment were armed with a gun and the defendant was the one who carried the gun, he touched me with the gun.
Student B, 20, in her testimony recounted how Ogunbowale raped her: “The defendant took me to the toilet and pointed a gun at my head, that day I was still a virgin and it was difficult for him to penetrate into me. He said to me ‘you never do am before.’
“He took me to a chair and raped and the second man left my roommate and exchanged places with him and raped me as well.
On hearing the sentence, Ogunbowale who has since been suspended by his school over the case wept profusely in the dock.