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Court fixes May 26 to hear N330 million rape suit against 3 men

“The prosecutor threatened the infant to change her story or be locked up in a room for five days, without seeing her family,” the applicant told the court.

A Federal High Court, Lagos, on Wednesday fixed May 26 to hear a suit filed by an applicant, on behalf of her niece, over alleged rape.

The suit, which was earlier fixed for hearing, could not go on at the resumed date due to the absence of the applicant in court.

Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, therefore, adjourned the suit till May 26 for hearing.

The applicant had filed the suit on April 23, 2013, seeking a declaration that the rape of her seven-year-old niece amounts to a breach of her right to the dignity of the human person.

Joined as first to third respondents in the suit are Kazeem Mohammed, 40; Tobi Daramola, 19; and James Anieskin, 19.

The fourth to sixth respondents are Lucy Abimbola (Area Crime Officer, Idimu Police Command), one Miss  Anthonia, (prosecutor of court 6, Ikeja Magistrates’ Court), and the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State.

The applicant is claiming the sum of N100 million each, against the first to third respondents, as aggravated and exemplary damages, for violating the child’s right to the dignity of the human person, and freedom from torture.

She also claims the sum of N20 million against the first respondent, N5 million against the second respondent, and N5 million against the third respondent, as general damages.

In the originating motion, the applicant averred that the respondents are her neighbours at Greenland Estate, Lasu-Isheri Road, Alimosho, Lagos, where she also resides with her husband, her two kids and her niece, the child that was raped.

She averred that sometime in January 2013, she had noticed blood stains on one of the infant’s under pants, and after interrogations, the infant confessed that the first to third respondents had been defiling her.

According to the applicant, the child said that while she was away in Abuja, the first to third respondents, paid frequent visits to their home, whenever they discovered that her husband had gone to work.

She averred that the respondents would threaten the child with a knife in order to rape her, and would warn her never to reveal the incident to anyone.

“After much interrogations, with my niece, she said that the respondents came to put their `wee-wee’ in her `bum-bum’ each time my husband was away, and would buy her Five Alive juice and Gala beef roll.

“I immediately reported the incidents to the Ikotun police station, who swung into action and arrested the third respondent, but the first and second respondents had already absconded.

“To my surprise, while the Ikotun police were still making frantic efforts to arrest the other respondents who were at large, a signal came from the Area ‘M’ Idimu command, for the case to be transferred there.

“The respondents were later arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court, after which the prosecutor, one Miss Anthonia, applied that the infant be remanded at the Girls Correctional Centre, Idi-Araba.

“I was later informed that on their way to the centre, the prosecutor threatened the infant to change her story or be locked up in a room for five days, without seeing her family,” the applicant said.

The applicant, therefore, seeks an order directing the sixth respondent (Commissioner of police), to restrain the fifth respondent (prosecutor), from taking part in the prosecution of the first to third respondents.

She also seeks an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the fourth respondent (Idimu Area Crime Officer), from taking part in investigating the first to third respondents.

(NAN)

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