By Bartholomew Madukwe & Michael Nwopoke
Three persons have been arraigned by the Police from Orile Division before an Ebute-Metta Chief Magistrate’s Court, Lagos, for allegedly having canal knowledge of a 14 -year-old girl.
A self-acclaimed pharmacist, Ijezie Chidiebere, 24, was charged along with Chikezie Ejesi, 25, and Okechukwu Ezea, 25. They were accused to have given the victim a ‘spiritual olive oil’ for her to drink under the pretense of cleaning her of demonic spirit to enable them have unlawful canal knowledge of her.
The police in a charge sheet number FCL/46/2013, said the three accused had committed the offense on August 3, 2013, at 8, Kekere-Ekun Street, Orile-Iganmu, at about, 9pm.
According to the charge, the accused had conspired together to have canal knowledge of the victim who was sent to buy some drugs without her consent and in the process, destroyed the victim’s hymen. The accused were also alleged to have conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace by falsely calling themselves pastors and gathered people inside the Chemist’s shop; and ordered them to call the victim all sorts of derogatory names, such as witch, wizard and demon possessed girl, all under the pretense of cleansing her spiritually.
Sergeant Quasim Adams, who held brief for the prosecutor, Corporal Anthonia Osayande (Mrs.), told the court the offenses contravened sections 409, 137 and 166 (1) (d) of criminal laws of Lagos state of Nigeria, 2011, and section 247 (b) of the criminal code cap ‘C38, laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004.
However, when the pleas of the accused were taken, they pleaded not guilty to the charges; and their counsel, Mr. Peter Omoludun, Ikechukwu Onodi and Ike Okafor, informed the court that the parties in the case were at the verge of settling the matter.
The presiding magistrate, Mr. K. O. Ogundare, who was not satisfied with the submission of the defense counsel, asked the victim if she was molested by the accused and she answered in affirmative. Ogundare admitted the accused persons bail in the sum of N100, 000, with two sureties each. He ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed not self-employed and show to court evidence of three years tax payment to Lagos state government.
The magistrate also told the police to transfer the case to Family Court at Surulere, for proper adjudication while the matter was adjourned till September 24, for mention.