Saturday, May 25, 2024

Nasarawa Lecturer Jailed for six months over Assault

A High Court sitting in the Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, has sentenced a senior lecturer in the department of History and International Studies at the Federal University, Lafia, Dr. Fred Ayokhai to six months imprisonment.

Ayokhai, who has been in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Service, Lafia since October 22, 2022, was convicted over conspiracy and assault on a 20-year-old orphan, Blessing Mathias after consenting to a plea bargain agreement.

He was first arraigned in court, alongside three others before the State Chief Judge, Justice Aisha Aliyu, where the case was assigned to Justice Solomon W. Ayenajeh of the High Court, Obi.

The other suspects are Emmanuella Ayokhai, Bob-Praise Ayokhai and Saint-Dan Ayokhai, as the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants, who are all his children, while 5th defendant, Vera Ogbonnaya is still at large.

They were charged on amended two-count bothering on criminal conspiracy and physical assault with canes and sticks, contrary to sections 96 and 264 and punishable under sections 97 and 265 of the Northern Nigeria’s Penal Code (1963) respectively.

Delivering the judgement, the presiding judge, Justice Solomon W. Ayenajeh convicted the 1st defendant and sentenced him to jail for six months for criminal conspiracy and another six months for physical assault.

The presiding judge however said that, the sentence will run concurrently in consideration of his plea.

Justice Ayenajeh explained that the six months period, which Ayokhai had been in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Service will be reckon with.

For the children, the presiding judge said they will spend six months on probation considering their age.

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According to the presiding judge, within the six months period, they will be tasked with the responsible of keeping the premises of the Nasarawa State High Court clean and will also be of good conducts, while the third defendant, Bob-Praise Ayokhai was admonished to shave his dreadlocks.

In a post conviction speech, the FuLafia lecturer thanked the presiding judge and parties in the matter for the consideration and the leniency accorded him.

He recalled that as a father and teacher in a federal institution, he had never been found wanting in the discharge of his duties and disclosed that he has taken further step to compensate the victim as part of his consent for the plea bargain.

The prosecuting counsel and the State Attorney-General, Abdulkarim Kana said, the step taken by the government was to provide for the defendants the second chance in life, particularly the children who are still coming up with bright future.

It would be recalled that Ayokhai and his children were arrested and arraigned by the Nigeria Police Force in October 2022 for assaulting the 20-year-old orphan in Lafia after a video of the unfortunate incident went viral on the social media.

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