The Magistrate Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Friday, ordered the remand of the soldier, Sunday Awolola, who was alleged to have raped a student of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, (AAUA) in the prison custody.
Awolola who was arraigned last Wednesday but was kept in police custody was brought before the court on a one-count charge of rape.
Awolola who was attached to the 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure was alleged to have raped a female student from the Department of Religious and African Studies of the University of the institution, (AAUA) at a military checkpoint in Ikare-Akoko, the headquarters of the Akoko North-East Local Government Area of Ondo State, on July 31, 2019.
Speaking during the proceeding, the Police Prosecutor, Mr Adeoye Adesegun, told the court that the crime is contrary to Section 357 and punishable under section 358 of the Criminal Code cap 37 vol. Laws of the Ondo State of Nigeria
The Police, however, prayed the court to remand the accused in prison custody, saying the case file had been transferred to the Director of Public Prosecution of the Ondo State Ministry of Justice for legal advice.
The Counsel to the defendant, Kayode Ikotun, who file an affidavit before the court said that the court has no jurisdiction to hear the case.
While addressing the court, he prayed that the accused person should be granted bail due to his health challenge, which according to him led to the redeployment of accused from Borno State to Ondo State some two months ago.
Apart from this, he said the defendant’s wife is a nursing mother who had just put to bed and nursing a two-month-old baby.
The Presiding Magistrate, Mayomi Olanipekun, however, ordered the remand of Awolola in prison custody pending the outcome of advice from the office of the Director of Public Prosecution, (DPP) and adjourned till November 15, 2019.
Addressing journalists, Olubunmi Akinola, Counsel to the complainant expressed satisfaction with the process, stressing that all what the victim is demanding for is justice.
He said “The prosecutor moved an application for the remand of the defendant and the counsel to the defendant also filed a counter-affidavit opposing moved by the prosecutor. And once the legal advice is out and he has a case to answer he will be definitely be tried at the High Court.
“After much deliberations by both parties, the court ruled that the defendant be remanded in prison custody pending legal advice from the Department of Public Prosecution.
“All that the complainant want is for justice to be done and we are hopeful that justice will be done. So far, we are satisfied with the entire process.”
Awolola, a soldier attached to the 32 Artillery Brigade of the Nigeria Army, Akure, was alleged to have raped the student at the military checkpoint along Ikare Akoko-Akungba Akoko road.
The randy soldier was said to have since been dismissed from the service of the Nigeria Army after which he was handed over to the state police command for prosecution.