Court Declines Babcock Student Involved In Alleged Gang Rape Bail

Court Declines Babcock Student Involved In Alleged Gang Rape Bail

 Justice Abiola Sururat of the Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court in Ikeja on Thursday dismissed the bail application filed by a student of Babcock University, James Aguedo, allegedly involved in the gang-rape of a student of the University of Lagos (Unilag).

Justice Soladoye, while ruling on his bail application filed by counsel, Mr Lawal Pedro (SAN), held that he did not provide compelling circumstances as to why the court should grant him bail.

 The judge held, ‘’the essence of bail is to ensure the defendant’s attendance at trial. In deciding an application for bail, certain factors must be taken into consideration such as the nature of the charge and the evidence adduced. Granting bail to defendant in a criminal offence is not automatic, it is at the discretion of the court.

“I am of the view that the application before the court has not shown any compelling or exceptional circumstances to warrant the court exercising its discretion in favour of the applicant. The application for bail is hereby refused, and the court shall give this case accelerated trial; I so hold,” the court held.

At the last sitting of the court, Pedro had urged the court to grant him bail to enable him to write an examination at the Babcock University in April. He added that the undergraduate suffered from ill-health and needed constant medical attention.

“He has a recurring back ailment. We brought not just a medical report but the history because he has been attending an orthopaedic hospital. The prison facility is not conducive for him.”

His counsel attached to the application for bail; Aguedo’s school identity card and admission letter, appointment card of National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Yaba, Lagos, report of medical examination and a St Dominic’s Catholic Church’s letter of recommendation.

It would be recalled that Aguedo 20 year old was charged alongside Moboluwaji Omowole, 19, Chuka Chukwu, 19, Peace Nwankama, 19 and Osemeka Josephine, 20 over alleged serial gang-rape of a Unilag student (name withheld).

They were alleged to have committed the offence sometime in 2017 within the premises of Unilag.

The victim had narrated to the court how she was lured by her roommate, Nwankama to High Rise, a staff quarters hostel, in Unilag where was gang-raped by eight students.

She also alleged that she was blackmailed with the video and further gang-raped on other occasions by the defendants and their accomplices who are now at large.

The five defendants have been remanded in the Kirikiri Prisons upon their arraignment on February 26.

Justice Soladoye, subsequently adjourned further hearing to May 2, 2019.

 


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