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Magistrate’s absence stalls trial of teacher, actor in teen’s rape case

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The absence of Magistrate A.A. Ajibade of an Osogbo Magistrates’ Court in Osun State has stalled the trial of a civil servant in the state, Mr Gbenga Samson Ayenioye, and his friend, a Nollywood actor, Mr Tunde AmokeOja, over alleged rape of a teenager (name withheld).
 
The matter had been adjourned till December 30 for hearing, but when our correspondent got to the court, it was learnt that Magistrate Ajibade did not come to court.
 
It was further gathered that the magistrate was on leave. The matter had been adjourned more than twice without any headway.
 
When the accused persons were arraigned by the police on October 7, the matter was presided over by Magistrate Opeyemi Badmus, who ordered the remand of the duo and adjourned it till November 19 for hearing.
 

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Few days after the remand of the accused persons in Ilesa Prison custody, Magistrate Badmus was transferred to another town in the state and was replaced with Magistrate Ajibade.
 
After spending some days in prison custody, the accused persons were granted bail by Magistrate Ajibade. Thereafter, the case was adjourned till December 30 for hearing.
 
Upon Ajibade’s absence, the court has fixed February 10, 2021 for hearing. The prosecuting counsel from the state Ministry of Justice, Bankole Awoyemi and the defence counsel, Abimbola Ige, agreed on the new adjourned date.
 
The police, after the victim’s complaints, through a non-governmental organisation in the state, Value Female Network (VFN), had dragged the duo to court on a three-count charge of conspiracy, rape and indecent assault on the 16-year-old girl.
 
According to the charge sheet, the 46-year-old Ayenioye, and AmokeOja, aged 38, committed the offence in February 2020, at Latona area and Delightful Gold Hotel, Osogbo.
 
The police informed the court that the duo indecently assaulted and unlawfully had carnal knowledge of the girl. The offences committed are contrary to and punishable under Section 31(1)(2) of the Child Rights Law of Osun State 2007, and Section 516 and 360 of the Criminal Code Cap 34 Vol ll, Law of Osun State 2002.
 
A police officer, Idoko John, had appeared for the prosecution before a lawyer from the state Ministry of Justice, Bankole Awoyemi, made an oral application to take over the prosecution of the matter.
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