Absence of victim stalls suspected rapist’s trial
A Lagos High Court sitting at Ikeja has adjourned the trial of Adewunmi Adetuyi, 32, charged with defiling a 13-year-old girl till June 30, 2016 due to the absence of the victim.
The prosecution counsel told the court on Wednesday that the family of the girl moved her to Badagry, away from the environment the incident happened probably to avoid stigmatization and enable her recover from the trauma.
He stated that the prosecution could not reach her at the time of court sitting.
Earlier, the prosecution witness told the court that the victim was sent on errand by her aunt around 9.00pm, and the accused lured her into an uncompleted building where he allegedly defiled her.
The offence is punishable under section 137 of Lagos State criminal law of 2011.
After cross examination of the police witness, the case was adjourned till June 15 by the presiding judge, Hon. Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of Lagos High Court at Ikeja for the fourth prosecution witness to testify.
But she was not in court due to the reasons the prosecution counsel explained.
Meanwhile there was a mild drama during the cross examination of the police witness, Sgt. Ehijakor Joseph. The defense counsel told him that he did not probably conduct proper investigation on the matter and did not visit the scene of the crime, since he (the prosecution witness) was unable to describe its location or environment properly.
“You cannot remember the name of the street nor give description of what the environment looked like; whether there are people living in the uncompleted building or not?” the defense counsel asked him.
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He continued, “you did not visit the victim or the defendant’s house to make connection between both residences, so on what did you base your evidence?”
However, the witness responded that the elements for his investigation were based on statements by the victim, her aunt, police request form and the medical doctor’s report as tendered in exhibits 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
The defense counsel, Obuagbaka Worer objected to the medical report on grounds that it was not earlier submitted to him for scrutiny before the court’s sitting.
“It was an act of ambush to push me off track on the information inherent within such report,” he argued.
But, Justice Ipaye ruled that such document was relevant and can be verified during cross examination.
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