Fidelis David in Akure

A Magistrate’s Court sitting in Akure, the capital of Ondo State, yesterday sentenced a 36-year-old mother of four, Mrs. Opeyemi Omoyemi, to four and a half years in prison for assaulting and inflicting injuries bodies at his 12-year-old home. help, identified as Joel Sunday.

Omoyemi, a widow, was sentenced to three and a half years’ imprisonment with hard labor on the first count of grievous bodily harm, while she was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment on the fifth count.

The accused allegedly used a stick and a razor blade to inflict multiple injuries on the body of the housekeeper whom she accused of stealing pieces of meat from the pot of soup.

She allegedly committed the offense on February 6, 2022, at her home located at the Idimango Adewale axis of Ondo Road, Akure.

The Prosecutor, ASP. Emmanuel Tanimowo, requested the withdrawal of count four which was granted by the magistrate, Mrs OA Edwin, during the trial.

For his part, the defense lawyer, Folusho Kayode, pleaded with the court to show leniency when handing down the sentence since the defendant was a first offender.

Kayode also informed the court that Omoyemi, a mother of four small children, was solely responsible for the welfare of the victim.

He said: “The court should be lenient in passing sentence on the defendant. The prayer for mercy is that the defendant was the sole responsible for the welfare and education of Sunday 12 years. She has been doing it conscientiously for four years since the death of her husband.

“The defendant has children and they have been crying since the incident happened because they could not see their mother.

“The defendant is a first-time offender and has never been arrested for inhumane behavior. The court should graciously pronounce the sentence.

In handing down the sentence, which would run concurrently, Magistrate Edwin said: ‘I know the accused is a first-time offender but the facts of the offenses are not just abuse of the victim but an offense against public order.

“The sentence must therefore be intended to deter others and also ensure that justice is done for the victim.”

Following the pronouncement of the sentence, the magistrate also adjourned the case to April 13, 2022, for the judgment of the third count of indictment of human trafficking to which the defendant had pleaded not guilty.

Speaking shortly after the court proceedings, Ms Catherine Ogunjebi, who held a brief for the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Ondo State Chapter, said: “We are grateful that justice has returned to the victim and to society. We are also grateful for the time the defendant did not waste. She pleaded guilty and it was quicker for us to come to that conclusion.

“We’re also impressed because it’s not a long sentence. She will be reunited with her children in due course as we know that she also has children who are currently in the custody of Women’s Affairs at the Children’s Home for proper care.

“It is wrong for her to have had two children aged 12 and 10 in her care for domestic help. This is against the Ondo State Child Rights Act and the Child Rights Act of 2003 of Nigeria.”