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Court discharges father over alleged rape of his daughter




An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan on Tuesday discharged a 48-year-old father, Sanni Idowu, charged with alleged defilement of his 15-year-old daughter for lack of evidence.

The judge, Justice Muktar Abimbola, discharged Idowu when the prosecuting counsel, Mr S. Omokanye, asked for adjournment because he could not get his witnesses.

Omokanye had urged the court to grant him a short adjournment to enable him get the witnesses in the matter.

Abimbola, however, said that it was cleared that the prosecutor was not ready to prosecute the case thereby causing undue delay in the matter.

The judge said that if prolonged trial of the defendant was allowed it would lead to undue incarceration.

“Justice was not only for the claimant and the society but also for the defendant.

“The defendant has been in the prison custody for almost three years without meaningful progress in the prosecution of the case.

“Since the arraignment of the defendant on Nov.3, 2013, no single investigative police officer has ever appeared or been called by the prosecuting counsel to prosecute the case.

“I, hereby, strike out the case and discharged the defendant for lack of prosecution,’’ Abimbola said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Idowu was facing trial on a one-count charged of rape.

The prosecuting counsel had earlier told the court that the defendant unlawfully had carnal knowledge of his 15-year-old daughter without her consent.

Omokanye said that the incident happened on Oct. 2, 2013 at Amuloko Area of Ibadan.

He said the offence contravened Section 357 and punishable under Section 358 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Vol.11 Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria 2000.

NAN reports that the defendant was not granted bail and had been in prison custody since Nov.3, 2013.

Counsel to the defendant, Mr Akorede Bakare, had told the court that the attitude of the prosecutor demonstrated that they were not ready to prosecute the case diligently.

Bakare, therefore, urged the court to strike out the case for want of diligent prosecution.

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