Trial of Policeman Charged with Raping Two-year-old Begins Today

The trial of Police Corporal Anthony Onoja charged with raping a two-year-old girl, Chinwedu Obi, resumes today before a Nasarawa State High Court sitting at Lafia. Onoja was charged with only one count which read: “That you Anthony Onoja of Maraba, Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State on or about the 15th day of June, 2013, at about 1500hrs at Mararaba, within the jurisdiction of this court, forcefully had carnal knowledge of Chinwedu Obi a two-year-old girl, without her consent, thereby committed an offence of rape punishable under section 283 of the Penal Code.” The prosecutor is expected to call its first witness when the trial starts today. Section 283 of the Penal Code provides that “whoever has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to fourteen years and shall also be liable to fine”. Although there are other offences with which Onoja could have been charged, he was charged with only one offence. Prior to the commencement of the criminal trial, the Nasarawa State High Court had already found Onoja liable in a civil action suit for raping the girl. The court had consequently ordered the Inspector General of Police and Onoja to pay baby Chinwendu Obi Onwudiwe N10 million for exemplary damages.

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