An Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court on Monday discharged an artisan, Moses Semoji, standing trial for defiling his neighbour’s seven-year-old, due to lack of diligent prosecution.
Justice Abiola Soladoye ordered the release of Semoji, following the plea of Defence Counsel, Ms Emma Ndoyo that the case of the prosecution be closed due to non appearance of the prosecution witnesses.
“The defence has been in the custody of the correctional centre since 2018,” she said.
”Freeing Semoji, is at the discretion of this court. And the discretion is exercised in favour of the defendant.
NAN reports that while testifying on June 25, 2019, a medical doctor and the sole witness in the case, Dr Oyedeji Alagbe, said the complainant was brought to Mirabel Center on May 27, 2018, after a referral from the Adekunle Police Station, Yaba, Lagos.
He said that from the medical examination he carried out on the complainant, it was discovered that the child was defiled.
“My significant findings were found on her vagina, she had an intense redness on the vestibule, (wall of the vagina), it was also found on the urethra (where urine is passed).
“My conclusion was that there has been forceful blunt penetration into the client’s vagina which can only be caused by a penis, finger or any smooth surfaced solid object,” he said.
After the evidence of Alagbe, the complainant, Investigate Police Officer (IPO) and other witnesses, for unspecified reasons, did not come to all the court proceedings to give evidence.
According to the prosecution, Semoji on May 24, 2018 at Makoko area of Yaba, Lagos lured the complainant to his room and defiled her.
The offence, the prosecution said, contravened the provisions of Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015 which stipulates life imprisonment for defilement.
Edited By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Sadiya Hamza