Ruling on the case, Justice Josephine Oyefeso of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja described the convict’s actions as heinous and that his incarceration should serve as a deterrent to others.She held that Baruwa violated the young lady’s chastity, which would have left a deep emotional scar from which she may find it difficult to recover.
“I cannot begin to imagine the physical and mental trauma she has had to endure from the man who she considered her father’s friend, a community leader who should have known better. This is a shame!
“This is a crime that not only offends the survivor but also it offends her family, the larger society and God. More painful is that the convict gave the family the impression that he was a lecturer at UNILAG, but the university only required his services on an ad-hoc basis.’’
The judge held that Baruwa gave the impression that he could assist the young lady to secure admission when he could do nothing, insisting that he capitalised on her vulnerability to achieve his selfish aim.
Pleading on behalf of the convict, the defence counsel, H. I. Omotoba, prayed the court to impose a light sentence and temper justice with mercy.
“The convict is broken and highly remorseful of his act. He is a first time offender with no previous criminal records. He is a married man with children and he has aged parents to cater for. I urge the court to impose lesser punishment on him,” he said.
But the Director of Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), Yhaqub G. Oshoala, asked the court to impose a stiff sentence to serve as a deterrent to lecturers who prey sexually on students.
“Neither the state nor the society will condone or accept such bad conduct. There are many students who are weak and have nobody to protect them. This is an opportunity to put an end to the attitude of men like the defendant,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, the United Nations (UN) has called on journalists, media experts, and civil society organisations to mobilise support for the passage of the Bill for the Prohibition of Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Institutions.
UN Women Country Representative in Nigeria and ECOWAS, Comfort Lamptey, stated this in Abuja yesterday, during the People Journalism Prize For Africa 2019.
Lamptey, represented by the UN Communication Analyst, Mercedes Alfa, said ending violence against women and girls was a key priority area for the body.