The Lagos State Government, on Tuesday, re-arraigned five students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), on Thursday in an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court by the prosecution team of the Lagos State Government for allegedly gang-raping a 17-year-old student of the institution (name withheld).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports those re-arraigned are Moboluwaji Omowole, 19, Chuka Chukwu, 19, Peace Nwankama, 19, James Aguedu, 20 and Josephine Osemeka, 20.
They were initially arraigned on Feb. 26 and had plead not guilty to a three-count charge of defilement of a child, permitting the defilement of a child in a premises and pro-curation.
Thursday’s proceedings was scheduled for cross-examination of the complainant but the prosecution said that based on new facts that emerged from the Feb. 26 testimony of complainant,the defendants were re-arraigned on an amended five-count charge.
During the re-arraignment, they plead not guilty the new charges of defilement of a child, permitting defilement of a child, procuration and sexual assault.
According to Dr Jide Martins, a Director in the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) the defendants committed the offences sometime in 2017 at the UNILAG, Akoka, Lagos.
“Omowole, Chukwu and Aguedo sometime in the month January and sometime in the month of February 2017 defiled the complainant by having unlawful sexual intercourse with her.
“Chukwu sometime in January 2017 at No. 25, Shobande St., Akoka, Yaba, Lagos knowingly allowed Omowole to defile the complainant by having unlawful sexual intercourse with her.
“Nwankama, Aguedo and Osameka between the months of January to March 2017 were into the procuration (obtaining) of young girls for the purpose of defilement.
“Osemeka sometime in the month of January 2017, in UNILAG, sexually assaulted the complainant by kissing her,” he said.
The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of sections 137, 138, 140(1)(a) and 263 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015.
Following their re-arraignment, Mr Adebisi Ademuwagun, the defence counsel to Omowole in view of the new charges, requested for an adjournment in order to re-strategise.