News & Current Affairs

Lagos High Court Sentences Richard Saviour to Life In Jail for Raping, Infecting his Wife's Niece With HIV

By Azeezat Okunlola | Feb 2, 2024

A man named Richard Saviour was given a life sentence by the  Ikeja High Court for the sexual assault and subsequent HIV infection of his wife's then 14-year-old niece.


The state's counsel, Mr Ola Azeez, presented three witnesses to back up the prosecution's claims throughout the trial, while the defendant presented his defence arguments.


On Tuesday, Justice Oyindamola Ogala handed down her judgment, ruling that all of the prosecution's witnesses had presented credible and corroborating evidence.


According to Ogala, the victim's testimony was supported by Officer PW1 of the Investigating Police Unit and Officer PW3 of the State Ministry of Youth and Social Welfare.


She asserted that the evidence presented by the witnesses proved that the offender was guilty of defilement.


Witnesses have testified that the defendant and his wife subjected the girl to years of mental and physical torture and that this "evil" is shown in the evidence now before the court.


“Revealing how she indeed ‘cried out’ for help and was betrayed by those who were supposed to help and support her."


“It is imperative to state at this juncture that the actions of the principal of PW2’s school and the social worker (PW3) are commendable as same eventually brought some succour and relief to PW2, who unfortunately has been permanently ‘scared’."


“Having carefully considered the entirety of facts before the court, it finds that in this instance, the prosecution has satisfactorily proved the one count change the defendant is faced with.”


According to Ogala, the defendant was in a desperate attempt to disassociate himself from the accusation and deny the charges.


According to her, the defendant rejected her account of what had happened between her and PW2.


“The defendant in his evidence before the court indeed narrated how PW2 (the survivor) had at one instance, after running from home to avoid a beating from his wife, ran to the station and he was subsequently informed that PW2 accused him of molesting her."


“The court finds that the totality of the testimony of the defendant who testified in his defence calling no additional witness is in essence a denial of the allegation without more."


“He offered no reliable explanations to the charge aside attempts to depict PW2 as a stubborn girl and one who stole from himself and his wife,” she added.


According to the judge, the victim was diagnosed with HIV during her visit to the Mirabel Centre, where she was taken to by the police.


Then, with the assistance of the non-governmental organization Positive Action for Treatment Access, she was moved to the Mary's Home Orphanage.


The court cited PW2's testimony from the Mirabel Centre, which showed that PW2 had experienced several vaginal penetrations and that her hymen was not there, along with a little amount of white vaginal discharge.


The defendant was therefore found guilty of defilement by illegal sexual assault and given a life term in prison by the court.


HIDDEN - to trigger update. rm later