Court Acquits 2 Friends Accused Of Defiling & Trafficking 11yrs Old Girl

Justice Abiola Soladoye of the Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court has discharged and acquitted two friends, Michael Isaac and Oluwaseyi Samuel, accused of defiling and trafficking an 11-year- old girl.

While delivering judgment on the four year old case, Justice Soladoye held that the prosecution failed to establish the ingredients of each of the three-count charge of defilement and human trafficking and contemporary slavery brought against the defendants.

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The prosecution team led by the Deputy Director of the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP), Olusola Shoneye had claimed that Isaac and Samuel committed the offences between April and August 2018, on Church Street, Ijora Badia, Lagos.

The state had insisted that the offences contravened the provisions of sections 137 and 276 (a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

But Justice Soladoye held that the prosecution only called one witness, who was the nominal complainant in the case and his testimony was not corroborated, as the survivor failed to show up in court.

She held, “PWI testified before this court that the survivor, who was living with him left home and never returned until she was seen by her family a few months later, under Idumota Bridge, and alleged that the defendants took her in and had sexual intercourse with her.

“The court did not see this girl, as she never came to court. The court is not a magician in determining if the defendants committed the offences or not, as the girl in question never showed up in court to narrate her ordeal in the hands of her alleged assailants.

“There is no evidence that could be corroborated with that of the PW1, as the witness told the court that the survivor now resides in the village, and all attempts made by the prosecution to get the survivor to court proved abortive.

“According to the prosecution witness, the survivor had returned to the village since the alleged incident happened and the effort to have her testimony through virtual hearing was to no avail, as she now resides in a remote part of Nigeria.

“The prosecution failed to prove the charge of defilement, human trafficking and contemporary slavery against the defendants.

I find them not guilty of the charges and are hereby discharged and acquitted”.

19th April 2024
Nigerian Pantagraph