The Anguwan Daji Senior Magistrate Court in Minna, Niger State, has ordered the remand of a 58-year-old man in a correctional facility until September 11, 2023.
The presiding senior magistrate, Hafsat Abdul Bawa Wuse, who ordered the remand, stated that the offence for which the defendant was standing trial was grievous in nature, hence his remand in a correctional facility.
Yau Ibrahim, of Kundu village in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, was arraigned in court on two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a child, sexual abuse, and exploitation.
According to Police Prosecutor Inspector Aliyu Yakubu Kuta, the offences contravened sections 26 (2) and 27 (2) of the Niger State Child Right and Protection Law of Niger State 2021, as amended.
The police First Information Report (FIR), made available in court and obtained by this reporter, explained that one Abdullahi Dauda of Kundu village in Rafi local government had reported to the Kagara Divisional Police Command that the defendant of the same address lured his six-year-old granddaughter to his room and sexually abused her.
During the police investigation, the 58-year-old defendant confessed and admitted to the police that he had sexual intercourse with the six-year-old child in his room.
When the charges were read to the defendant by the presiding senior magistrate, Hafsat Abdul Bawa Wuse, he pleaded guilty to the two-count charges and pleaded for leniency.
However, the police prosecutor told the court that, because of the heinous nature of the offences, he objected to the defendant's summary conviction.
Responding to the oral application of the police prosecutor, the presiding Magistrate Hafsat Abdul Bawa told the prosecutor that she aligned herself with the submission of the prosecutor.
"I really agreed with you. We need some witnesses, including the investigating police officer and possibly the victim.
"Convicting him summarily would not serve the deserving punishment. We need to commence a full trial to enable the court to arrive at giving him the real punishment that will serve as a deterrent to others," she pointed out.
She then adjourned the case to September 11 for the commencement of the hearing and the taking of witnesses.
Nigeria's Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa Gwabin, has assured Governor Muhammad Umaru Bago that the armed forces will defeat all terrorists in the state and bring lasting peace to villages affected by insurgency.
The defence chief gave the assurance yesterday when the Niger State Governor visited him in his office at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, to seek the support of the military to tackle the renewed insurgency by armed bandits that has wrecked havoc in some local governments in the state.
Gen. Christopher said the military and other security agencies will not rest on their oars until the activities of terrorists are brought to an end.
He acknowledged the strategic location of the state and promised that violent non-state actors would not be allowed to continue their nefarious activities.
The governor, worried by the recent renewed attacks on villagers and farmers in some local governments in the state, begged the Chief of Defence Staff to increase military presence in the troubled areas and bring an end to the activities of terrorists.
In a press release signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mal. Bologi Ibrahim, Governor Umaru Bago said this was necessary because the terrorists were taking advantage of the large ungoverned areas in the state and requested that the armed forces increase their presence to curtail the activities of the terrorists.
The governor, who noted and appreciated the commitment and sacrifice members of the armed forces offered in the state, promised to render all necessary support to security agencies to succeed.
Armed terrorists in large numbers have in recent days attacked several villages in Mariga, Wushishi, Rafi, Shiroro, Munya, and Paikoro, sending many weary villagers out of their homes and farmlands.
The daredevil men who abducted many people and killed others were, however, in some places confronted by soldiers who engaged them in gun battles that resulted in the deaths of many terrorists.
On Sunday last week, the military were said to have cleared a blockage mounted by armed bandits along the Minna-Zunguru road, and a large contingent of soldiers were seen heading towards the troubled areas, ostensibly as part of reinforcement.
Although the police have yet to release any statement on the new development, some villagers who left their homes for safety said an intense gun battle was raging between the terrorists and the military.
The governor also paid a similar visit to the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, in a bid to ramp up quick security interventions to arrest the worrying situation in the state.