Legal Nigeria

Alleged gang-rape: Court orders Babcock dropouts who raped friend to open defence

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NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA 

Two Babcock university dropouts, said to have gang-raped a female friend, failed Thursday to have their case struck out by the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court in Lagos.

The duo of Don-Chima George, and Segun Razak, son of Chief Lanre Razak, are charged in two counts of conspiracy and rape.

They are alleged to have drugged and gang-raped the complainant (name withheld) on February 3, 2019, from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. at De-Lankaster Hotels, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.

The Presiding Judge at the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, Abiola Soladoye, on Thursday, ordered them to open their defence.

Counsel to the defendants, Adebambo Adesanya, had filed a no-case submission, stating that the prosecution has not brought a prima facie case against the defendants.

Mr Adesanya had urged the court to discharge and acquit the defendants based on insufficient evidence.

The prosecution led by Shola Soneye, had however opposed the application of the defence.

The prosecution argued that it is the court’s discretion to evaluate the evidence only when the evidence of the prosecution and defence witnesses are before it.

Ms Soladoye, in a ruling on Thursday, said that she had considered the arguments of counsel in the no-case submission vis-a-vis the evidence before the court.

“I am satisfied that based on the evidence before the court, it is required that there has to be some form of explanation from each of the two defendants on the allegations proffered against them. The defendants are therefore called upon to open their defence. I so hold,” she said.

On May 15, 2019, the 24-year-old complainant had testified that she had gone with the defendants to Kabaal nightclub located in Ikoyi, Lagos, to celebrate the birthday of George who was her friend.

While at a nightclub, the defendants allegedly mixed her drink with a substance which had, after some moments, rendered her unconscious.

She alleged that she was taken to a room at George’s father’s hotel where the defendants took turns to rape her and record their actions on a mobile phone.

The complainant has so far been the sole witness presented by the prosecution in the case.

The offence, the prosecution said, contravened the provisions of sections 258 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

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