By Onozure Dania
Lagos—A 51-year-old pastor, Sunday Akintayo, has been arraigned before a Lagos chief magistrate’s court sitting in Ebute-Metta over indecent assault of a seven-year-old girl.
Akintayo, who claimed to be a member of Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Ajelogo, Mile 12, Lagos, was alleged to have severally dipped his finger into the private part of the victim (name withheld).
Detectives from the Criminal Investigation Department of Railway Command of the Nigeria Police also alleged that the defendant, apart from fingering the minor, also shaved her eyebrows.
The prosecutor, Inspector Moses Uadevmbo, told the court that the defendant committed the offences on July 11, 2014.
He said the incident took place at 11, Werugbara, Railway Line, Ilupeju, Mushin area of Lagos State.
According to the prosecutor, the offences contravened Section 261(2) and is punishable under Section 135(1) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011.
Section 135 (1) prescribes seven years imprisonment for offenders.
However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
Counsel to the defendant, Alli Aba, urged the court to grant the defendant bail.
But Inspector Uadevmbo, who opposed the oral bail application filed by the defence counsel, told the court that in granting the defendant bail, the age of the victim must be considered and the prevalence of such cases in the state.
He also informed the court that the victim had been certified by a doctor to have been infected with staph and she is currently under intensive care unit in a hospital.
The prosecutor also told the court that if the defendant was granted bail, he might interfer with the complaints as this may jeopardise the case.
He, therefore, urged the court to refuse the bail application.
Consequently, Magistrate A. Demi-Ajayi ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody.
She further adjourned the matter till September 24, when the court will rule on the bail application.