A Nigerian doctor accused of raping his wife’s teen niece was on Tuesday sentenced to life in prison by a Lagos court after he was found guilty of the offense. According to the BBC, the convicted man, identified as Dr Olufemi Olaleye, heads a top Nigerian cancer clinic by the name Optimal Cancer Care Foundation. The clinic provides free breast and cervical cancer screening for women.
The prosecutor in the case said the teen victim was sexually assaulted by Olaleye for over a year, adding that his wife ultimately reported him to the police after she got to know about her husband’s actions.
And though Olaleye entered a not guilty plea, Justice Rahman Oshodi indicated the evidence brought against the accused was enough to implicate him. Olaleye initially appeared before the court in November 2022 on two counts of rape. Authorities said that the convicted doctor sexually assaulted his wife’s niece between December 2019 and July 2022, adding that she had moved in to stay with the family at the time.
Aderemi Olaleye, who is Olaleye’s wife, told the court that she got to know her husband had been sexually assaulting her niece after the victim informed her aunt and the family driver. Aderemi Olaleye also said her husband threatened to take her niece’s life if she reported the sexual abuse, per BBC. Olaleye also allegedly forced the victim, who is now 18, to watch pornography.
Besides the victim and Olaleye’s wife, other people including a medical doctor, a child-care expert, and two police officers took the stand to testify against the defendant. Olaleye also took the stand to defend himself while his forensic physician also did the same, claiming that the medical evidence presented by the prosecution was inconclusive.
But Justice Oshodi during the sentencing said that the presented evidence “greatly” implicated Olaleye. The judge also labeled the defendant as an unremorseful “dangerous” offender. The judge further made mention of Olaleye initially admitting to the sexual assault to the police.
The judge also threw out claims by Olaleye’s lawyers that the convicted doctor’s wife trained the victim to peddle lies against their client in a bid to have control over his property, BBC reported.
“I, therefore, find the defendant guilty as charged,” the judge ruled. “This charge has a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.”
Justice Oshodi also rejected a leniency plea from the defendant’s lawyer. The attorney asked the state to consider the defendant’s career as a cancer doctor, adding that this was also the first time he had been implicated in a crime. But Justice Oshodi was adamant Olaleye must be imprisoned for as long as possible to send a signal that sexual violence will never be entertained in the West African nation’s justice system.
The judge also ordered Olaleye’s name to be added to the Lagos State sex offenders register.