John Otema, an alumnus of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), standing trial for having unlawful sexual intercourse with students of the institution has denied voluntarily making parts of his purported confessional statement to the police.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Fred Onyeka, counsel to Otema, on Monday, contested the statement being tendered in evidence at the resumed hearing of the case at the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court.
Onyeka said that an addendum of six lines, where his client admitted to having unlawful sexual intercourse with Student Y (name withheld) in his statement did not emanate voluntarily from him.
The defence counsel said that Otema was coerced to write that he voluntarily wrote the contents and was not beaten prior to writing the statement.
“I am objecting on the ground that the last six lines of this statement were made on a different date from the first date which was Feb. 8, 2018.
“Those six lines were obtained through torture of the defendant. It was obtained involuntarily my Lord; he was forced to make those confessions.
“It is a flagrant violation of Section 34(1) (a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended,” Onyeka said.
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Urging the court to look at the proof of evidence, the defence counsel, requested that the court order a trial-within-trial to ascertain the voluntariness or otherwise of Otema’s alleged confessional statement.
Responding, Mr Akin George, the lead state prosecutor, urged the court to allow the prosecution to bring in relevant witnesses to prove the voluntariness of the confessional statements.
Obliging the request of the defence counsel, Justice Abiola Soladoye adjourned the case until Oct. 30 for trial-within-trial.
NAN reports that Otema is facing a three-count charge, bordering on rape and assault occasioning harm.
He is accused of raping two undergraduates of UNILAG.
According to the charge, Otema had sexual intercourse with Student Y without her consent on Jan. 31, 2018 at his home at No. 6, Ajileye St., Bariga, Lagos.
Also, on Jan. 17, he had unlawful sexual intercourse with Student X around the Distance Learning Institute (DLI) at UNILAG, Akoka, Lagos.
He also allegedly physically assaulted Student X by hitting her several times in the face, strangling her and biting her back.
The offences contravened Sections 173 and 260(1)(2) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.