A lance Corporal of the Nigerian Army (NA), Mr. Sunday Awolola, who allegedly raped a 300-level student of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), was yesterday arraigned at a Magistrate’s Court in Akure, Ondo State.
The 33-year-old officer, who was attached to the 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure, was allegedly involved in the rape of a female student from the Department of Religious and African Studies of the university on July 31.
He was alleged to have committed the offence at the military checkpoint situated at Ikare-Akoko in Akoko North-East Local Council of the state.
The Police Prosecutor, Inspector Adeoye Adesegun, had sought an application that the suspect is remanded in prison custody to enable the police to gather more facts on the case.
Magistrate Mayowa Olanipekun directed that the soldier, who had earlier been dismissed by the Nigerian Army, should still be in police custody following an application by the police prosecutor.
According to the magistrate, “the application brought before the court by the police had not been served on the counsel of the defendant.”
Meanwhile, Bola Joel-Ogundadegbe, FIDA Chairperson in Ondo State, maintained that what was done in court was just for the defendant to appear before the court, stressing that the defendant has not properly been arraigned.
According to her, the application by the police for remand did not work out because the application has not been served on the defendant’s counsel.
Also, Henry Adegbemile, the Special Assistant to Ondo State Governor on Special Duties, who was at the court, said: “The position of the law is that he is entitled to an application requesting and seeking the order of the court to remand the suspect.
“Since the administration of criminal justice law allows him to respond to that application, the court is of the view that between now and the time he was served will not be sufficient for him to respond, even though he could respond orally, but he has since selected to have a legal representative.”
The magistrate, therefore, advised that the suspect should contact his lawyer in order to file a response to the application seeking his remand in prison custody before a proper hearing of the rape case against him could commence.
He subsequently adjourned the case till tomorrow, August 16, 2019, to allow the defence counsel study the application.