The judgment of an Exxon Mobil Engineer, James Onuoha, charged with raping his tenant’s 14-year-old niece, will be delivered on March 25, by a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere.
Justice Adedayo Akintoye, yesterday adjourned the case to March to deliver the judgment after the parties adopted their final written addresses. The defendant, 42, was charged by the Lagos State Government. He was first arraigned sometime in January 2016, at the Magistrates’ Court, on a four-count charge bordering on defilement. He was remanded in Kirikiri correctional centre pending legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Following his indictment by the DPP, the case was transferred to the high court for trial. The Lagos state government accused Onuoha of committing the alleged offences on January 4, 2016, at 11:30 a.m. at 25, Samuel Amoore Street, Idowu Estate, Ike-Ira Nla, Ajah, Lagos. The Prosecution led by Dr. Jide Martins, said the defendant willfully had an unlawful sexual act with the teenager without her consent.
He said the offences contravened Sections 134 (2), 135 (1), and is punishable under Sections 137 and 258 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. Onuoha, however, pleaded not guilty.
The prosecution opened its case and called witnesses including the victim.
After the prosecution closed its case, Onuoha opened his defence and was led in evidence by the defence counsel, Dr. Victor Olowonla. He narrated how he visited his house at 25, Samuel Amoore Street, Idowu Estate, Ike-Ira Nla, Ajah, Lagos, on January 4, 2016.
The defendant explained that he went to the house to inspect the premises rented by his tenant “Kenneth”, who was not at home. Onuoha said he called the tenant several times on phone but the tenant did not pick his calls so he decided to meet the tenant at home.
The defendant said he did not meet the tenant at home but was granted access to the tenant’s apartment for inspection by the victim who told him she was 16 years of age.
He told the court that he did not touch the girl but gave her N1000 as gift because it was Christmas period.
The defendant when cross-examined said he did not inform the tenant about his visit before going to the house for inspection.