Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Court to hear N330m rape suit April 2

A Federal High Court on Wednesday in Lagos, fixed April 2 for the hearing of a suit filed by an applicant, Ngozi Ugwu, on behalf of her niece, over an alleged rape.

Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, adjourned the suit to enable the parties regularise their processes before the court.

She also ordered hearing notices to be served on the fourth to sixth respondents.

Ugwu had filed the suit on April 23, 2013, through her Counsel, Mr Olukayode Dada, seeking a declaration that the defilement of her seven-year-old niece, amounted to a breach of her right to dignity of the human person.

Joined as first to third respondents in the suit are Kazeem Mohammed, 40, Tobi Daramola, 19, and James Anieskin, 19.

The fourth to sixth respondents are CSP Lucy Abimbola (Area Crime Officer, Idimu Police Command), one Miss Anthonia, (Prosecutor of Court 6, Ikeja Magistrates’ Court) and the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State.

The applicant is claiming N100 million each, against the first to third respondents as aggravated and exemplary damages for violating the infant’s right to dignity of her human person and freedom from torture.

She is also claiming N20 million against the first respondent, five million naira against the second respondent and additional five million naira against the third respondent as general damages.

In the originating motion, the applicant averred that the respondents were her neighbours at Greenland Estate, LASU-Isheri Road in Alimosho, Lagos.

Ugwu said that she also resided in the same address with her husband, her two kids and her niece (the infant).

She averred that sometime in January, 2013, she had noticed blood stains on one of the infant’s under pant, adding that after interrogations, the infant confessed that the first to third respondents had been defiling her.

Ugwu added that the infant told her that while she (Ugwu) was away in Abuja during the period, the first to third respondents, paid frequent visits to their home.

At the home, they discovered that her husband had gone to work.

She also averred that the respondents would threaten the infant with a knife, in order to have their way, and would warn her never to reveal the incident to anyone.

“After much interrogations, with my niece, she said that the respondents came to put their “wee-wee” in her “bum-bum” each time my husband was away.

“According to her, they will buy her Five Alive juice and Gala beef roll.

“I immediately reported the incident to the Ikotun Police Station, which swung into action and arrested the third respondent but the first and second respondents, had already absconded.

“To my surprise, while the Ikotun Police Station was still making frantic efforts to arrest the other respondents who were at large, a signal came from the Area ‘M’ Idimu Command, for the case to be transferred there.

“The respondents were later arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court, after which the prosecutor, one Miss Anthonia, applied that the infant be remanded at the Girls Correctional Centre, Idi-Araba.

“I was later informed that on their way to the centre, the prosecutor threatened the infant to change her story or be locked up in a room for five days, without seeing her family, she said “.

The applicant, therefore, seeks an order, directing the sixth respondent (commissioner of police), to restrain the fifth respondent (prosecutor), from taking part in the prosecution of the first to third respondents.

She is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the fourth respondent (Idimu Area Crime Officer), from taking part in investigating the first to third respondents.


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