Health and Safety Politics

De Lankaster Hotel Alleged Rape: Defence seeks transfer of case out of Sexual Offences Court

FCT High Court orders Farouk Lawan to enter defence in $500,000 bribery case
Written by Maritime First

…As 9-year-old child narrates: ‘How policeman defiled me on several occasions’***

The defence team of two men accused of allegedly drugging and raping a 24-year-old woman in De Lankaster Hotel Lekki, Lagos has requested that the file of the case be transferred out of the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court.

The request was made on Wednesday after the trial had commenced and the complainant had testified against the defendants on May 15.

The complainant was cross-examined by the defence on May 15 and June 13.

George and Rasak were previously denied bail and ordered to be remanded in prison custody in a ruling delivered on April 29 by the Presiding Judge Justice Abiola Soladoye.

Soladoye had denied the defendants bail because they had not placed any compelling or exceptional circumstance to warrant the court granting them bail.

However, in a new twist to the case, the defendants, who are dropouts from Babcock University were granted bail on July 31 during the annual vacation of the High Court by Justice Ganiyu Safari, the sitting vacation judge at the time.

Safari granted the defendants bail based on “new grounds” brought by the defence Counsel, Ms Funmi Adeogun of the law chambers of Mr Tunji Ayanlaja (SAN).

During proceedings on Wednesday, Adeogun, had via a letter dated August 26, applied for a transfer of the case file from Soladoye’s court.

The defence applied for the transfer “in order to save the good trust of the courts and maintain high order of fair hearing between parties”.

Reacting, Soladoye said “in view of the letter, we will order the transfer of the case file to the registry for further directive from the chief judge.”

The case was adjourned till Nov. 26 to await the chief judge’s directives.

The prosecution, led by Mr Akin George, alleged that the defendants committed the offence on Feb. 3 from 5.00 a.m. to 7.00 a.m. at De Lankaster Hotels at Lekki Phase 1 in Lagos.

The complainant, who is friends with George, one of the defendants, went to a nightclub with the duo and a group of friends to celebrate George’s birthday.

While at the nightclub, the defendants allegedly mixed the complainant’s drink with a substance that allegedly rendered her unconscious moments later.

The prosecution alleged that they took the complainant to Delankaster Hotel, belonging to George’s father, where they allegedly took turns to rape her while videotaping the sexual act.

According to the prosecution, the offences contravene Sections 258 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Also read:  “My step-father raped me, sexually abused my younger sister” -Woman tells court

However, in another development, a nine-year-old pupil (name withheld) on Wednesday narrated before an Ikeja Special Offences and Domestic Violence Court in Lagos how a 40-year-old policeman, Andy Eghobamien, lures her into his apartment and defiles her on numerous occasions.

Indicated the child: “I know Brother Andy (the defendant). He is our neighbour, who lives at the back yard of our house. He is popularly known as ‘Officer’.

“On that day, Brother Andy called me when I got back from school and sent me on an errand. He sent me to go and buy milk for him. Then he gave me N200.

“I bought the milk and when I returned, he asked me to bring it inside his room. He then said I should drop the milk on the table and sit down.

“When I sat down, he now told me to lie on the bed and remove my pant. He now put his penis in my bum bum.He put his penis at my front bum bum (she demonstrates by pointing at her vagina), highlighted the child, while making her revelation during the trial of Eghobamien on a one-count charge of defilement contrary to Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The child, who described herself as a primary five pupil of one of the schools in Lagos State, was led in evidence by Miss Inumidun Solarin, the state Prosecutor.

She also said the defendant, who was her neighbour, had defiled her on various occasions and that on the last occasion, he had also, lured her into his apartment under the pretext of giving her N200 to buy milk for him.

The child told the court that Eghobamien after defiling her had hid her under his bed when her elder sister was frantically searching for her.

“After that, he asked me to hide under the bed when my elder sister came calling my name. One of our neighbours, Chioma, even entered his room to buy recharge card for him, though she didn’t see me, I saw her from under the bed.

“And because my elder sister was shouting my name and looking for me, officer told me to pretend like nothing happened and that I should pass through the backyard gate.”

The child said that when she was found by her sister she lied and said that she was at her friend’s house and that her sister had insisted that she took her to the friend’s house.

“I started begging her not to beat me, and I told her that I was inside officer’s room. My sister beat me and reported to my father who was very angry.

“When my mummy came back from the market where she sells Abacha (African salad), my sister reported me again.

“This time my mummy threatened to kill me if I don’t tell her what happened. I became afraid and told her the truth.

“Immediately my mummy called all her brothers and they came to our house the following morning and took us to Amukoko police station to report. It was after we made a report at the station that the police came and arrested Brother Andy,” she said.

The witness said she was referred by authorities to the Mirabel Center (a Sexual Assault Referral Center) where the doctors revealed that she had been sexually abused on several occasions by the defendant.

The prosecutor asked “How many times has he done such to you (sexual intercourse)?”

“Many times. I can’t really count,” the child responded.

While being cross-examined by Mr M.L. Ezomo, the Defence Counsel, the child said the reason why she did not report the abuse was because the policeman had threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

She also added: “no other person touched me except Brother Andy.”

The prosecution maintained that the policeman allegedly defiled the nine-year-old child on June 6 at Amukoko area of Lagos.

Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015 prescribes a life sentence for anyone found guilty of defilement.

Justice Sybil Nwaka adjourned the case untill October 30 for continuation of trial.

 

 

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