A woman allegedly gang-raped in an hotel in Lekki by two dropouts of Babcock University, on Thursday told an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court that she wanted the trial of the defendants stopped.
The defendants are Don-Chima George and Olusegun Razak.
During resumed proceedings on Thursday before Justice Abiola Soladoye, the victim requested for the withdrawal of the case through a “Letter of Withdrawal”, dated June 3, addressed to the Director of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) and signed by the complainant.
The letter was read by Justice Soladoye. The victim ascribed her decision to “family intervention” and “for the sake of her integrity”.
However, prosecuting Deputy-Director in the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), Akin George, opposed her request.
He stated that: “The AG is the complainant in this case and we do not have a directive from the office of the AG. In every criminal matter, victims are natural witnesses and as we speak, there is no Attorney-General in office due to the change in power.
“We are also aware of the rules of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, which states that even the Court of Appeal cannot stay an ongoing proceeding. We have submitted issues for the respective decisions of this court and we will bring the witness to state her position before the court, while we continue proceedings and await directives from the AG’s office,” George said.
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Defence counsel, Mr Tunji Ayanlaja (SAN), disagreed with the submission of the prosecution.
Though he shared the views of the prosecution that Lagos State originated the criminal suit, he insisted that the absence of the AG had not created any vacuum.
Ayanlaja prayed the court to release the defendants from prison, arguing that in the absence of the AG, the Solicitor-General takes charge.
“The constitution is very clear on this matter. When there is no AG in office, the Solicitor-General takes over the function of the AG,” he said.
He reminded the court that the defendants have been in prison for long, noting that the victim, who is the complainant and prosecution witness, has developed cold feet on the matter.
“I apply that your lordship should consider releasing the defendants on bail. At the end of the day, no compensation will be paid to them. They are young men who have languished in jail for four or five months,” Ayanlaja said.
After listening to the submissions of the prosecution and defence, Justice Soladoye denied the defendants bail, adding that the court would continue with proceedings of the matter.
The case was adjourned till June 18.
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