Alleged Lekki hotel rape: Defence seeks transfer of case out of Sexual Offences Court

October 9, 2019
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The defence team of two men accused of drugging and raping a 24-year-old woman in De Lankaster Hotel Lekki, Lagos has requested that the file of the case be transferred out of the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court.

The request was made on Wednesday after the trial had commenced and the complainant had testified against the defendants.

On May 15 and June 13, Don-Chima George, 25, and Olusegun Rasak, 28, the two defendants were cross-examined by the defence on the matter.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that George and Rasak were previously denied bail and ordered to be remanded in prison custody in a ruling delivered on April 29 by the Presiding Judge Justice Abiola Soladoye.

Soladoye had denied the defendants bail because they had not placed any compelling or exceptional circumstance to warrant the court granting them bail.

However, in a new twist to the case, the defendants, who are dropouts from Babcock University were granted bail on July 31 during the annual vacation of the High Court by Justice Ganiyu Safari, the sitting vacation judge at the time.

Safari granted the defendants bail based on “new grounds” brought by the defence Counsel, Ms Funmi Adeogun of the law chambers of Mr Tunji Ayanlaja (SAN).

During proceedings on Wednesday, Adeogun, had via a letter dated Aug. 26, applied for a transfer of the case file from Soladoye’s court.

During proceedings on Wednesday, Adeogun, had via a letter dated Aug. 26, applied for a transfer of the case file from Soladoye’s court.

The defence applied for the transfer “in order to save the good trust of the courts and maintain a high order of fair hearing between parties”.

Reacting, Soladoye said “in view of the letter, we will order the transfer of the case file to the registry for further directive from the chief judge.”

The case was adjourned till Nov. 26 to await the chief judge’s directives.

NAN reports that the prosecution, led by Mr Akin George, alleged that the defendants committed the offence on Feb. 3 from 5.00 a.m. to 7.00 a.m. at De Lankaster Hotels at Lekki Phase 1 in Lagos.

The complainant, who is friends with George, one of the defendants, went to a nightclub with the duo and a group of friends to celebrate George’s birthday.

While at the nightclub, the defendants allegedly mixed the complainant’s drink with a substance that allegedly rendered her unconscious moments later.

The prosecution alleged that they took the complainant to Delankaster Hotel, belonging to George’s father, where they allegedly took turns to rape her while videotaping the sexual act.

According to the prosecution, the offences contravene Sections 258 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

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