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Court fixes March 25 for judgment in engineer’s alleged rape case

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An Igbosere High Court, Lagos, on Tuesday fixed March 25, to deliver judgment in the case involving  an engineer, James Onuoha, charged with raping his tenant’s 14-year-old niece.

Justice Adedayo Akintoye adjourned until March 25 to deliver the judgment after the parties had adopted their final written addresses.

The 42-year-old defendant was charged by the Lagos State Government.

Onuoha was first arraigned in January 2016 at the Magistrates’ Court on a four-count charge bordering on defilement.

He was remanded in Kirikiri Custodial  Centre pending the receipt of legal advice from the Office of the  Director of Public Prosecutions (DPPs).

Following his indictment by the office of the DPPs, the case was transferred to the high court for trial.

The government accused Onuoha of committing the alleged offences on Jan. 4, 2016, at 11:30a.m., at No. 25, Samuel Amoore St., Idowu Estate, Oke-Ira Nla in Ajah, Lagos State.

The Prosecution led by Dr Jide Martins said that the defendant willfully had an unlawful sexual act with the teenager without her consent.

Martins said that the offences contravened Sections 134 (2), 135 (1), 137 and 258 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

Onuoha, however, pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution opened its case and called witnesses that included the victim.

After the close of the prosecution’s case, Onuoha opened his defence and was led in evidence by the defence counsel, Dr. Victor Olowonla.

He narrated how he visited his house at No. 25, Samuel Amoore St., Idowu Estate, Oke-Ira Nla, Ajah, on Jan. 4, 2016.

The defendant explained that he went to the house to inspect the premises rented by his tenant “Kenneth”, whom he said was not at home then.

Onuoha said that he called the tenant several times on phone but the tenant did not pick his calls, so he decided to meet the tenant at home.

The defendant said that he did not meet the tenant at home.

Onuoha added that he, however, was granted access into the tenant’s apartment for inspection by the victim who told him she was 16 years of age.

He told the court that he did not touch the girl but gave her N1,000 as gift because it was Christmas period.

The defendant when cross-examined said he did not inform the tenant about his visit to the house for inspection.

Edited by: Chinyere Bassey/Peter Dada

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