Nigerian doctor Olaleye receives life sentence for rape.

A Nigerian court has handed down a life sentence to a medical director, Dr. Olufemi Olaleye, convicted of sexually assaulting his wife’s teenage niece. The prosecution revealed that the abuse had persisted for over a year until the wife learned of it and reported the incident to the police.

Dr. Olaleye faced charges of rape dating back to December 2019 and spanning until July 2022 when the victim was residing with their family. During the trial, the doctor’s wife, Aderemi Olaleye, disclosed that she became aware of the abuse when the victim confided in her and the family’s driver. The now 18-year-old girl testified that the doctor had engaged in sexual relations with her and had made death threats to prevent her from disclosing the ordeal. He was also accused of subjecting her to explicit material.

The trial included testimony from six witnesses, including the victim, the defendant’s wife, a medical professional, a child-care expert, and two police officers involved in the investigation. The defendant, Dr. Olaleye, also testified in his own defense, supported by a forensic physician who challenged the prosecution’s medical evidence.

Justice Rahman Oshodi, delivering the judgment on Tuesday, declared that the evidence presented strongly implicated the defendant. He characterized the medical director of Optimal Cancer Care Foundation as a “dangerous” offender who displayed no remorse.

Justice Oshodi emphasized that Dr. Olaleye’s earlier confession to the police was a testament to his guilt. In response to a plea for leniency from the doctor’s attorney, Adebisi Oridate, who highlighted Olaleye’s contributions as a cancer doctor and his first-time offender status, the judge dismissed the request. Instead, he ordered a long-term prison sentence for Dr. Olaleye, underscoring the justice system’s stance against sexual violence in Nigeria. Additionally, the doctor’s name was mandated to be added to the Lagos State sex offenders register.

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