Justice Ramon Oshodi of the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, Ikeja, on Wednesday ordered that the court should be vacated during proceedings in the trial of Dr Femi Olaleye charged with defiling his wife’s niece.
The prosecution had requested that journalists should be stopped from covering Wednesday’s proceedings as the alleged victim was billed to testify.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Oshodi ruled that the request of the prosecution for a closed hearing was in line with the 1999 Constitution and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJL) as amended.
“I have carefully considered the request of the prosecution for a closed session, and the defence did not oppose.
“I hereby order that the court be vacated for a closed session.
“The defendant is at liberty to nominate anybody to attend the hearing,” the judge ruled.
Olaleye, the Medical Director of Optical Cancer Care Foundation, was alleged to have defiled the victim/survivor who was living with his family.
NAN reports that the survivor was brought to court heavily guarded and wearing a face mask.
She is now 18 years old but the alleged defilement occurred when she was 16.
Earlier, the state Director of Public Prosecutions, Dr Babajide Martins, moved an application for the court to be vacated to avert negative publicity on the alleged victim.
The defence team led by Mr Babatunde Ogala (SAN) and Mr Olusegun Fabunmi (SAN) did not object to the application on the basis of morality but informed the court that the survivor had attained 18 years of age.
NAN also reports that the wife of the defendant, Mrs Aderemi Fagbemi-Olaleye, on Dec. 19, testified before the court that her husband was diagnosed with sex addiction.
Olaleye is facing a two-count charge of defilement and sexual assault by penetration, contrary to Sections 137 and 261 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
The case was adjourned until Jan. 3 for the continuation of trial.