The Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere will on March 25 deliver judgment on the rape charge brought against an engineer with Exxon Mobil, James Onuoha.
The trial judge, Justice Adedayo Akintoye fixed the date on Tuesday after parties in the matter argued and adopted their final written addresses.
Onuoha was arraigned before the court by the Lagos State government for allegedly raping his tenant’s 14-year-old niece.
The accused person was first arraigned in January 2016 before the Magistrates’ Court on a four-count charge of defilement.
He was then remanded in the custody of the Kirikiri Correctional Centre pending legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Following his indictment by the DPP, the case was transferred to the high court for trial.
The state government accused Onuoha of committing the alleged offences on January 4, 2016, at 11:30 a.m., at 25, Samuel Amoore Street, Idowu Estate, Ike-Ira Nla, Ajah, Lagos.
The prosecution led by Dr. Jide Martins said the defendant willfully committed an unlawful sexual act with the teenager without her consent.
He said the offences contravened Sections 134 (2), 135 (1), and is punishable under Sections 137 and 258 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
Onuoha, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The prosecution opened its case and called witnesses including the victim.
After the prosecution closed its case, Onuoha opened his defence and was led in evidence by the defence counsel, Dr Victor Olowonla.
He narrated how he visited his house at No. 25, Samuel Amoore St., Idowu Estate, Oke-Ira Nla, Ajah, on Jan. 4, 2016.
The defendant explained that he went to the house to inspect the premises rented by his tenant “Kenneth”, whom he said was not at home then.
Onuoha said that he called the tenant several times on phone but the tenant did not pick his calls, so he decided to meet the tenant at home.
The defendant said that he did not meet the tenant at home.
Onuoha added that he, however, was granted access into the tenant’s apartment for inspection by the victim who told him she was 16 years of age.
He told the court that he did not touch the girl but gave her N1,000 as gift because it was Christmas period.
The defendant when cross-examined said he did not inform the tenant about his visit to the house for inspection.