By Dayo Johnson
AKURE—THE dismissed soldier, Lance Corporal Sunday Awolola, who allegedly raped a 300-level student of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, AAUA, was yesterday docked before a Magistrate Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Awolola, 33, attached to the 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure, allegedly committed the offence, which is contrary to sections 357 and 358 of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol 1 Laws of Ondo State 2006, at a military checkpoint in Ikare-Akoko in Akoko North East Local Council of the state.
The accused, who has been dismissed by the Army authorities, was brought before a Magistrate Court over a one-count charge bordering on rape. He allegedly raped the student of the Department of Religious and African Studies of the university on July 31 at about 6.30pm while she was returning to her residence from the campus.
The Nigeria Army authorities handed the suspect over to the state Police Command for prosecution, last week.
The rape case attracted interests from the International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, Ministry of Women Affairs, and Office of the Wife of the Governor.
Awolola was brought to Court III of the Magistrates’ Court by officers of the State Police Command.
The charge read: “That you Sunday Awolola ‘M’ on the 31st day of July, 2019 at about 6:30pm at Ikare Akoko Military Checkpoint did unlawfully have carnal knowledge of… (name withheld) and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 357 and Punishable Under Section 358 of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol. 1 Laws of the Ondo State of Nigeria 2006.”
The charge was, however, not read to the accused because his Counsel, Kayode Idowu, said he was just being served with the charge against his client.
Idowu asked for 24 hours to study the charge and file his response and application for bail.
The Police Prosecutor, Adeoye Adesegun, did not oppose the application. He asked that the suspect be remanded in prison in order for the police to gather more facts on the case.
The FIDA Chairperson, Bola Joel-Ogundadegbe, said that what was done was just for the defendant to appear before the court, stressing that the defendant has not properly been arraigned.