Justice Adekunle Adeleye of an Ado-Ekiti High Court has discharged and acquitted a 55-year-old university lecturer, Dr Ayinde Olukayode of alleged rape.
Olukayode, who lectures at the Ekiti State University (EKSU), has been standing trial on the alleged offence of rape contrary to the provisions of Section 31 (c) of the Child’s Rights Law, Cap C7, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.
The lecturer, who was arraigned on March 7, 2022, had pleaded not guilty to the allegation of raping a 12-year-old girl, (names withheld) in August 2020.
In his judgment, Adeleye held that the prosecution witnesses had created doubt in the mind of the court with the discrepancies in the evidence.
The judge said the prosecution had failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.
He, therefore, discharged and acquitted Olukayode of the offence of rape for insufficient claims.
During the trial, the prosecution had called four witnesses and tendered four exhibits while the defendant called five witnesses.
The prosecution, through the witnesses, claimed that the defendant allegedly had carnal knowledge of the victim several times while the victim told the court that she did not inform anybody.
The victim claimed to have spotted blood stains on her pant.
The medical doctor that examined the victim confirmed that her hymen was broken, affirming that there was a minute fresh injury on the girl’s external genitalia without discharge.
The victim said that in June 2021, a group led by the Ekiti State Attorney-General came to Christ’s Girls School to give a sensitisation lecture where she wrote down the Ministry of Justice’s helpline.
She said she confided in a man who has a shop next to her guardian because she wanted to borrow his phone to call the MOJ helpline.
Reportedly, the man informed one of her teachers who later briefed the Principal, who in turn contacted the Ekiti State Sexual Referral Centre.
The father of the victim, Olatunji Ojo, who testified on Oath, as a defence witness, told the court that Olukayode did not rape his child because the man is a father to all.
However, Olukayode, in his defence, claimed that he was battling with erection dysfunction which medically could not position him to have any sexual intercourse.
The defendant’s wife, Eunice Olabisi, also testified that her husband could not have sex with her, in spite of romances for the past five years due to erectile dysfunction and therefore, could not have committed the offence.
Counsel to the defendant, Mr Oladele Adedeji, submitted that evidence led by the prosecution through the witnesses did not link the defendant with the commission of the offence levelled against him.
Adedeji noted that a medical examination ought to have been conducted when the matter was fresh to show how the hymen of the girl was broken.
He urged the court to discountenance the evidence led by the prosecution since she had failed to establish the ingredients of the offence of rape beyond a reasonable doubt.
The counsel prayed the court to discharge and acquit his client for lack of evidence and affirm his innocence.
But the prosecution led by a Counsel from the State Ministry of Justice, Ibironke Odetola, submitted that the prosecution had proven the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt, through the witnesses and prayed the court to convict the defendant as charged.