On Monday, July 31, 2023, Justice Adenike Akinpelu of the Kwara State High court sentenced three students to prison for planning to gang rape a 17-year-old female.

The defendants, Mustapha Ahmed, 23, Omotosho Yahaya, 23, who is the victim’s cousin, Mustapha Ridwan, 22, are tertiary students in the state.

In the Adangba neighbourhood of Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State in 2020, the court found them guilty of a two-count allegation of criminal conspiracy and rape of the victim.

Omotosho, the first defendant, is accused of inviting his two buddies to participate in the act while they were in the same room as the victim.

They received prison terms of two years for criminal conspiracy and five years for rape.

The sentences, which also carry a further fine of N50,000, are to be served simultaneously.

In his ruling, Justice Akinpelu stated that, “Contrary to the defense’s contention, the defendants’ confessional remarks are clear, unequivocal, and equivocal.

Their account of the defendant’s statements is consistent with the other evidence on the witness stand. No woman in her right mind would voluntarily agree to have sex with three men.

Exhibit 1, a board found at the crime scene, attested to the victim’s being threatened, raped, and subjected to additional examinations by a government hospital.

Akinpelu stated that although it is preferable, “it is not always possible to rely on the absence of the victim in court due to certain circumstances to argue a case.”

While she acknowledged that “it is bad enough that the convicts at their age will gang rape the victim,” she added that “it is equally worse for them to be left scot free.”

She labelled their “claims that she owed them money as a fairy tale” and declared them “guilty as charged”.