An Osun State High Court, Ilesa Division, yesterday sentenced a septuagenarian, who is also a traditional ruler in Ijesha land, to seven years in prison for raping two secondary schoolgirls. The monarch, Loja Araromi Otokobo, Oba Moses Adeniyi, sexually assaulted the 13 and 14 years’ old girls when he offered them a ride from their school, St. Margaret Girls School, Ilesha, on the pretence that he would take them to their houses. One of the girls was said to have lived in the same area with the traditional ruler in the past, which made them trust him. But the monarch drove them to his hotel, Prince Way Hotel, where he assaulted them sexually. After sleeping with them, Adeniyi cleaned their private parts with a white handkerchief and warned them not to tell anybody. He also warned that if they told anyone, they would die mysteriously. Scared of the threat, the girls were unable to tell anyone for a few weeks. But when they summoned enough courage, the girls were said to have confided in one their schoolmates who alerted one of the victims’ parents who in turn reported the case to the school authorities.
Worried by the development, the school authorities dragged Adeniyi to court. On March 28, 2011, the monarch was arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on rape and indecent assault. The court established that the traditional ruler’s actions were contrary to sections 358 and 360 of the Criminal Code Cap 34, Vol. 11, Laws of Osun State. In her ruling, Justice Kudirat Akano held that the prosecution team from the Ministry of Justice, comprising Tijani Adekilekun and Folashade Adekomi, proved the case beyond reasonable doubt. Akano therefore passed a guilty verdict against Adeniyi and sentenced him to seven years in prison.