Embattled Lagos medical doctor, Femi Olaleye, yesterday, lost his ‘no case application’ in a defilement case filed against him at a Lagos Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, Ikeja.
The trial judge, Rahmon Oshodi, rejected his application for lack of merit and asked him to enter his defence. The state government had filed a two-count charge against Olaleye over alleged unlawful sexual intercourse and sexual assault by penetrating his niece’s mouth with his penis.
His offences contravened Sections 137 and 261 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
In his ‘no case submission’ dated February 21,2023, the defendant’s counsel, Mr. Olusegum Fabunmi (SAN), argued that the prosecution had not provided sufficient evidence against the defendant to warrant him to enter defence. He also submitted that the evidence of the prosecution was not sufficient to convict his client.
According to the senior lawyer, there was no time the defendant was caught committing the alleged offences. He stressed that the defendant even denied committing the offence and as such there was no prima facie case linking the defendant to the offence.
He said: “In the first instance, the survivor did not state that the offence was committed, it was an after thought. We want the court to look at the testimony of PW6, in which it was stated that the victim did not produce the medical report at the time she alleged the offence was committed.”He urged the court to grant the application and dismiss the case against the defendant.
In his response, the lead prosecution team, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Dr. Babajide Martins, submitted that the prosecution has called six witnesses, including the survivor to testify in the case. He said the prosecution also tendered 21 exhibits to prove its case against the defendant. He argued that there was no doubt about the identity of the defendant, as the survivor gave an account of how she was asked to suck the defendant’s penis.
“The issue that PW2 does not know when the incident happened does not arise. The testimony of the under-aged girl (survivor) corroborated what the prosecution alleged the defendant of. The evidence of PW3 also corroborated it in accordance to section 24 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law.
“The defendant did not even say he did not live in that house. The girl was 15 years and not below 14 years at that time.
“ We have alleged defilement by penetration, tendered exhibits as well as documentary evidence. Even when the survivor was cross- examined by the learned silk , she responded that the defendant knows her menstrual time. The survivor also said that the defendant usually came when children were asleep,” Martins said.
The DPP therefore urged the court to dismiss the defendant’s application and ask him to enter his defence. The judge held that he was inclined to agree with the prosecution witness and their testimonies.
Justice Oshodi said he had studied in detail all exhibits and was constraint to consider the evidence before the court on prima facie case as well as credibility of the evidences
“I have carefully listened to the submissions of both prosecution and defence counsel. In this case six witnesses testified for the prosecution and various exhibits were tendered in evidence.
“At this stage, I am unable to decide whether the evidence presented is believed or not. I am not to decide the credibility or the way to attack the testimonies of the prosecution’s witnesses, but what I am obligated to do at this stage is to decide whether something has been produced, so far, to prove this case is worthwhile.
“The learned SAN has pointed out some evidence he considered as discrepancies in testimonies of the prosecution’s witnesses, but I am afraid I am unable to give such an opinion regarding the discrepancies at this stage in a no case context.
“I am inclined to agree with the prosecution. I do believe that the testimonies of the prosecution’s witnesses; namely PW1 to 6 and the exhibits tendered thus far, have made it worthwhile to continue the trial.
“The no case submission is overruled and accordingly, the defendant is hereby called upon to open his defence,” the court held. The court subsequently adjourned to March 29, 2023 for the defendant to open his defence.