19 March 2019

Nigeria: Alleged Defilement - Confusion in Court As Suspect Absconds

There was confusion in an Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court, on Monday, when a suspect, accused of defiling his five-year-old niece, absconded before his arraignment.

The suspect, Abiodun Akinpelu, who is an architect, had arrived in the courtroom to take his plea on two counts of indecent treatment of a child and sexual assault by penetration.

However, when the case was announced in the courtroom, Akinpelu told the court that his defence counsel was on his way to the court premises. The judge, Justice Abiola Soladoye, then stood-down the case to enable the defence counsel get to court.

When the matter was announced for the second time, the prosecution counsel realized that Akinpelu had sneaked out of the court premises.

Mrs Arinola Momoh-Ayokanbi, the lead state prosecutor told the court: "The defendant was in court earlier this morning, I noticed he stepped out of the courtroom immediately he left the dock.

"Now that he has absconded, I humbly request for a bench warrant, five witnesses are to testify in this matter and three of the witnesses are present in court."

Justice Soladoye issued a bench warrant for Akinpelu's arrest and adjourned the case until May 7 for arraignment.

According to the charge sheet made available to NAN, Akinpelu committed the offences between January 2016 and September 2017 at his home located at No. 29, Mayowa St., Orelope, Egbeda, Lagos.

The offences contravene sections 135 and 262 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

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