Contrary to an agreed norm among judges in Lagos State, that no sexual offenders should be admitted to bail, two men accused of allegedly drugging and raping a 24-year-old woman (name withheld) in Delankaster Hotel Lekki, Lagos has been granted bail.
The men, Chima George 25 and Olusegun Rasak were granted bail on July 31, by Justice Ganiyu Safari during the court annual vacation when he was sitting on urgent cases.
This information which has been kept sealed from the public because journalists were barred from the court when the two dropped out students of Babcock University, Ilisan -Remo, Ogun State were granted became public today when they made an application requesting that their case file be transferred from the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court presided over by Justice Abiola Soladoye to another judge.
The request was made after the trial had commenced and the victim of the alleged crime had testified against the defendants on May 15.
She had also been 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 Justice Soladoye.
The court denied the defendants bail because they had not placed any compelling or exceptional circumstances before it to warrant the court to exercised its discretion in their favour.
Justice Safari granted the defendants bail based on “new grounds” brought by the defence counsel, Ms Funmi Adeogun of the law chambers of Tunji Ayanlaja (SAN).
During today’s proceedings Adeogun, had via a letter dated August 26 applied for a transfer of the case file from Justice Soladoye’s court.
The defence had applied for the transfer “in order to save the good trust of the courts and maintain high order of fair hearing between parties”.
Reacting, Justice Soladoye stated “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 judge then adjourned the case till November 26 to await the Chief Judge’s directives.
The prosecution led by Akin George, alleged that the defendants committed the offence on February 3, 2019 from 5.00a.m. to 7.00a.m. at Delankaster Hotels, Lekki Phase 1, 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.