A 50-year-old man, Yusuf Bako, has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Bauchi State High Court for defiling a 4-year-old girl inside a mosque situated along Aminu Street in Bauchi metropolis.
Bako lured the minor to the mosque and had carnal knowledge of her in September 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Bako had previously been jailed twice for similar r*pe offences but was pardoned by the state governor a few months before the r*pe to decongest prisons and curb the spread of coronavirus.
The Director of Public Prosecution, Bauchi State Ministry of Justice, Barrister Sha’awanatu Yusuf, confirmed the conviction in an exclusive interview with journalists on Wednesday, December 27, 2023.
She said that the judgement was delivered by Justice Sa’ad Zadawa of High Court No.6 in late November this year after hearings from both sides of the case.
Sha’awanatu expressed that this conviction signifies the ministry’s commitment to securing justice for victims of r*pe and upholding the validity of the VAPP Law currently in operation within the state.
Additionally, the Director urged the Administration of Criminal Justice Act to expedite the trial process for suspected r*pe cases in the state, expecting further convictions to follow suit.
She called upon parents and guardians to collaborate with authorities in prosecuting suspected r*pe offenders.
“Some parents hinder their children, who are victims of r*pe, from appearing in court and giving testimony,” Sha’awanatu lamented.
It’s noteworthy that in 2022, Bauchi State Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed ratified the VAPP Law, which prescribes the death penalty and life imprisonment for convicted r*pe suspects.