Thursday, June 1, 2023


Journalists barred as court hears survivor’s testimony in Lagos doctor’s ‘rape’ case

Journalists barred as court hears survivor’s testimony in Lagos doctor’s ‘rape’ case
December 21
14:30 2022

The minor who was allegedly raped by Femi Olaleye, managing director of Optimal Cancer Care Foundation, has testified before the special offences and domestic violence court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.

The girl (name withheld), who is the niece of Aderemi, wife of Olaleye, appeared before the court on Wednesday.

The cancer care advocate is facing trial on a two-count charge of defilement of a child and sexual assault by penetration.

Olaleye was accused of sexually violating his wife’s niece for over 20 months.


On Monday, Aderemi appeared before the court as the first witness in the trial.


At the hearing on Wednesday, Babajide Martins, counsel to the state government, told the court that the prosecution team sought to present two witnesses — the survivor and a psychologist.


While citing section 36(4)a of the 1999 constitution (as amended), Martins asked the court to allow only the legal practitioners of the parties to witness the testimony of the survivor and exclude other parties.

Section 36(4)a of the 1999 constitution states that: “A court or such a tribunal may exclude from its proceedings persons other than the parties thereto or their legal practitioners in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, the welfare of persons who have not attained the age of eighteen years, the protection of the private lives of the parties or to such extent as it may consider necessary by reason of special circumstances in which publicity would be contrary to the interests of justice.”

The state counsel said although the survivor is now 18 years old, it is necessary for the court to consider the “protection of the private lives of the parties and that publicity would be contrary to the interests of justice”.

Supporting the application, Babatunde Ogala, counsel to Olaleye, agreed with the submission of the state counsel.


In his ruling, Rahman Oshodi, the presiding judge, held that the court should move to a closed session.

Subsequently, journalists and other parties in the court were asked to leave to allow the survivor — who was 15 when allegedly abused — to present her testimony.


Olayele arriving the court

Barely one hour later, the court resumed for an open session after the survivor had testified.


During the hearing, Ogala asked the court to vary the bail conditions granted to Olaleye on November 30.

The counsel argued that the defendant is still in the custody of the correctional centre because he cannot meet the conditions stipulated by the court.


Ogala appealed to the court to give the “most liberal bail conditions”.

Ruling on the application, the judge argued that variations of bail conditions are the discretionary powers of the court.


The judge however relaxed the bail terms, saying the defendant should provide two sureties with N40 million each, titles of two landed properties in Lagos, proof of gainful employment, three-year tax clearance, and proper national identification documents.

The judge also asked Olaleye to submit his international passport, British passport and all travel documents to the court clerk.


The case was thereafter adjourned to January 3 and 4, 2023 for the continuation of trial.


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