Justice Ngozi Orji of the Enugu State High Court yesterday sentenced 39-year-old Ede Eze to 10 years imprisonment for rape. The judge had last week convicted the accused in a one count charge in the suit between him and the state but had suspended pronouncement of his sentence until yesterday.
The charge against the convict had committed the act on September 2, 2014 at Ubahu Community in Enugu East Local Government area of the state having embarked on carnal knowledge of one Oluchukwu John without her consent. The act was contrary to section 309 of the Criminal Code Law Cap 30 volume II laws of Enugu State.
Pronouncing the 10 years jail term the court said it was to serve as deterrent to others who see rape as something ordinary or minor, stressing that it was disheartening that rape cases have become prevalent in the society.
Reacting to the judgment, the Prosecution Counsel, Ngozi Okoye, expressed gratitude to the court for the courage to hand down the sentence. She said the sentence was in order and welcomed due to the prevalence of rape not only in Enugu but in other parts of the country.
She encouraged other women who have been abused or had undergone any form of sexual violence to report it at the Tama Sexual Assault Centre Enugu (TAMASAC) for immediate redress.
Also reacting, the Commissioner, Ministry of Gender Affairs, Princess Peace Nnaji, who was in the court said with the judgment, history had been made. “People are taking the case of rape for granted but today they have seen that case of rape is very serious. To hand down a jail term of 10 years is not something to be joked with.”