An Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court has denied two dropouts of Babcock University, Don-Chima George and Olusegun Rasak, bail for allegedly drugging and gang-raping a 24-year-old woman in a hotel in Lekki, Lagos.
The judge, Abiola Soladoye, while ruling on their bail application, said the applicants had not provided any compelling circumstances which would warrant them being granted bail.
“It is without any doubt that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty as provided for in Section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“Notwithstanding this, the court is still vested with the duty to consider the weight of facts in the affidavit placed before it viz-a-viz the charge and proof of evidence placed before the court.
“In exercising my discretion, I am, therefore, of the considered view that the applicants have not placed any compelling or exceptional circumstances to warrant this honourable court to exercise its discretion.
“Bail is denied to the applicants and this honourable court shall give this case accelerated hearing,” Justice Soladoye said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that George and Rasak are facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and rape.
They are alleged, by the prosecution, to have committed the offences on February 3, from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. at Delankaster Hotels, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
The prosecution said the defendants, while at a nightclub, allegedly mixed the complainant’s (name withheld) drink with a substance that rendered her unconscious.
The prosecution alleged that they took the complainant to George’s father’s hotel, where they allegedly took turns to rape her while videotaping the sexual offence.
According to the prosecution, the offences contravened Sections 258 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
During the bail hearing held on March 27, Jide Martins, the Director of Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had appealed that the court should deny the defendants bail due to the nature of the offences.
Mr Martins had also noted that there was a high likelihood of the defendants interfering with the witnesses if they leave prison custody.
“An allegation of rape for a victim is bad enough, then the allegation of rape against two people, well known to the victim,… is absolutely condemnable.
“I just want to reiterate that the two defendants will not answer the bail but will flee. There is also nothing relating to the health of the defendants that will warrant their need for bail.
“There is no life threatening medical condition with which the defendants can justify the court’s discretion to grant bail in their favour.
“There is also a video recording of the offence. We urge your Lordship to refuse the bail application because it lacks merit.”
The defence counsel, Tunji Ayanlaja, via a summons for bail dated March 12 asked the court to grant the defendants bail.
Mr Ayanlaja noted that the DPP in its counter-affidavit was objecting to the defendants’ bail application because of the social status of their parents.
“The defendants have been in custody since February 6. The parents of the two defendants are in court and they are of good parentage. The parents will ensure their sons attend court proceedings.
“From the counter-affidavit served on us by the prosecution, it seems that the crux of the objection of my learned friends is that the applicants should suffer on account of their parentage.
“There are no facts deposed in their affidavit except that they said they may tamper with the witnesses.
“This will not be enough to sway your Lordship as special facts for your Lordship to hold that they are denied bail,” Mr Ayanlaja had said.
Justice Soladoye adjourned the case until May 15 for trial.
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