Rape victim seeks withdrawal of case from court

A 24-year-old woman who was allegedly drugged at a nightclub and gang-raped in a hotel at Lekki, Lagos, by two dropouts of Babcock University, have written for the withdrawal of the criminal suit filed against the defendants, Don-Chima and Olusegun.

The complainant made her request for withdrawal of the case during proceedings at an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court yesterday in a letter dated June 3, 2019. The letter was addressed to the Director of the Directorate of Public Prosecution and signed by the complainant.

According to the letter read in court by Justice Abiola Soladoye, the complainant attributed her decision to seek the withdrawal to intervention of family members and for the sake of her integrity.

Deputy-Director in the Directorate of Public Prosecution and lead state prosecutor, Mr. Akin George, however, opposed the complainant’s request. He noted that the complainant was in court for the continuation of her cross-examination by the defence.

“We do not have a directive from the office of the Attorney-General. My lord, the AG is the complainant in this case. In every criminal matter, victims are naturally witnesses and as we speak, there is no AG in office due to the change in power,” George said.

Responding, defence counsel, Mr Tunji Ayanlaja (SAN), said while he shared the views of the prosecution that Lagos State originated the criminal suit, he disagreed that the absence of the AG had created a vacuum. He also sought the release of the defendants from prison.

After listening to the submissions of the prosecution and defence, Justice Soladoye said the court would continue with proceedings, and that bail would not be granted to the defendants because the court had already delivered a ruling denying them bail.

“However, so that these proceedings will not be an exercise in futility, a short adjournment will be taken, pending directives from the office of the AG,” she said. The case was adjourned to June 18 for the continuation of trial.

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