Edo State First Lady and Chairperson of the Edo State Gender-Based Violence Management Committee, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, has said the state has secured the conviction of one more sexual offender, a 57-year-old man, who was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment without an option of fine for raping a minor.
The sexual offender, Michael Ogoke, was arraigned by the police before an Oredo Magistrate Court on May 11, 2021, on a one-count charge of rape and was subsequently sentenced to 14 years imprisonment without any option of fine by Magistrate E. O Aimofumeh.
Speaking to journalists during a press conference at the Government House, Benin City, Mrs. Obaseki said the government remains committed to reducing incidences of sexual and domestic abuse, ensuring justice for all survivors.
Reassuring that the state government will continue to strengthen institutions and mechanisms to stop all forms of sexual and gender-based violence, the Edo first lady said there’s no hiding place for sexual offenders in the state.
According to her, “We are happy that Edo State Gender-Based Violence Management Committee was able to secure justice for that little, innocent girl who was raped by one Michael Ogoke, a 57-year-old man.
“We are hoping that this would send a message around the world that, in Edo, there is no hiding place for sexual predators. No more covering up for such wicked crimes. No matter who you are, the law is not a respecter of anybody. This government is saying that if you commit such a crime, you will face the full weight of the law.”
In his contribution, the Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comr. Philip Shaibu, said the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration will continue to pursue programmes and policies to ensure the protection of lives and property of all Edo citizens, adding that such responsibility is the essence of governance.
He noted, “We are celebrating this judgment because programmes like this have been initiated by previous governments and at the end of the day, it just ends up on the shelf with elaborate celebration.”