On this day, March 13th, 2018, one Mr. Ogundele Kingsley was being sentenced to 14 years imprisonment by an Edo high court of justice in the State.
Kingsley was found guilty alongside one, Mr. Chukwuma Solomon, who is still at large after undergoing trial on a two-count charge bordering on Conspiracy and sodom.
This incident happened on December 9th, 2015. He was accused of conspiring to commit the act alongside one other who was said to have escaped.
The two convicts were said to be cohabiting, while they both worked as technicians in Edo State.
Consequently’ today March 13th, 2018, the presiding Judge, Justice Philip Otugba has delivered judgment on the first defendant, Lagbaja Kingsley who was the only one present in Court while suspending the sentencing of the one absconded party.
Justice Otugba described testimonies provided by the Prosecution as firm and almost unchallenged, adding that the judgment is based on “Absolute fact which the Court absorbed as presented by the prosecuting counsel and all witnesses that appeared before the court”.
He pointed out that the accused couldn’t substantiate a counter evidence against charges leveled against them.
The court, therefore, sentenced the first defendant, Lagbaja Kingsley to 14 years imprisonment.
“Under existing Nigerian federal law, sodomy is punishable by jail, but this bill legislates for a much broader crackdown on homosexual people, who live a largely underground existence.
Now anti-gay sentiment and persecution of homosexuals is rife in Nigeria, so the new legislation is likely to be popular and actions more than before.”
For the other one who was absent from the court, Justice Otugba relied on Section 352(5) of the State Criminal Code which implies that you can’t pass judgment in absence against an offender.
He backed the court for suspending the judgment on the one other who took to flight, describing it as a constitutional procedure taken by the court.