Justice Sybil Nwaka of an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court on Friday told a school supervisor, Adegboyega Adenekan, that he would answer to an allegation that he defiled a two-year and 11-month pupil.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nwaka, dismissed a no-case submission by Adenekan, a former Supervisor of the Chrisland School in Victoria Garden City, Lagos State.
The judge ordered the former supervisor to open his defence.
“The court is of the view that the defendant has a case to answer, and as such, the defendant should open his defence,” she said.
Following the ruling, defence counsel, Mr Olatunde Adejuyigbe (SAN), informed the court that defence intended to call six witnesses to testify for Adenekan.
Nwaka ordered accelerated hearing of the case, and adjourned the case until June 14, for defence.
NAN reports that Adenekan had via a no-case submission dated March 24, said that prosecution failed to prove the case of defilement against him.
Addressing the court on April 15 Adejuyigbe said, “In this case of defilement, the element or ingredient has not been established.
“The first ingredient as held in Adonike versus the State is that the accused had sexual intercourse with a child less than 11 years.
“In the evidence before the court, the prosecution did not provide any evidence of sexual intercourse;the evidence provided by the prosecution falls short of the requirement of sexual intercourse provided for in Adonike versus the State.
“When the medical doctor gave evidence, the doctor said ‘when we asked her who the perpetuator is, she did not mention the name of the perpetuator’. The crucial thing is that the act must be linked with the defendant.
“With respect to witnesses, there must be corroboration, corroborative evidence must be independent of the main evidence and must be external.
“PW1, PW2, PW3 and PW7’s evidence is dependent on what the child told them,” he said.
The lead prosecution counsel, Mr. Babajide Boye, had in his response dated April 8, however, urged the court to dismiss Adenekan’s application.
“There is no smoke without fire,” he said, noting that the pupil singled out the defendant, of all the male teachers in the school, as her alleged abuser.
“This defendant is not the only male teacher or male supervisor of that school.
“The fact that the child singled him out as her abuser gives room to speculations which deserve an explanation.
“The following questions have to be answered: Was the child sexually assaulted? Was she able to identify her abuser and did the police investigation link the defendant to the charge?
“If the answers to these questions are in the affirmative, we submit that the defendant has a case to answer.
“The issues raised by the learned silk are issues of technicalities,” he said.
The prosecution counsel urged the court to do justice in this case and avoid delving into error of technicalities.
“There are no two Adenekans in that school that we know of; it will be in the interest of justice that the defendant will answer the case we have made through our seven witnesses,” Boye said.
NAN reports that Adenekan who was arraigned on Jan. 29, 2018, pleaded not guilty to a charge of defilement of a child.
The prosecution alleges that Adenekan committed the offence sometime in November 2016 at Chrisland School, Victoria Garden City, Lagos.
According to the prosecution, the defendant defiled the pupil by having unlawful sexual intercourse with her.
The alleged offence contravenes Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011 which recommends a life sentence for anyone convicted of defiling a child.