An Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Olakunle Orebe, on Monday, told an Ikeja Special Offences Court that a vulcanizer, Wasiu Ibrahim, raped his wife’s 15-year-old sister.
Mr Orebe, while being led in evidence by the State Counsel, Babajide Boye, said he received the case of alleged defilement on February 2, 2017, at the Gender Section, Police Command in Ikeja.
The witness said the survivor told him that the defendant, who was her sister’s husband and had been living with them for five years, allegedly had sex with her.
He said the minor told him that the defendant raped her when her sister travelled for a burial.
“The survivor said that her sister travelled on January 1, 2017, for a burial.
“She said she was left in the house with her sister’s three children and at midnight, the defendant told her to leave the couch she was not sleeping on and move to the floor.
“She said after a while, the defendant came, undressed her and defiled her,” he said.
The witness further told the court that the survivor told her class teacher about the incident on March 2, 2017.
He added that the defendant, upon arrest, said he did not know what came over him.
“I spoke with the defendant In the cause of my investigation and he said he did not know what came over him to have done what he did.
“I can not remember the number of statements that were recorded but the survivors’ statement was also recorded.
“The survivor was referred to Mirabel Medical Centre for examination.
The survivor’s statement and medical report dated February 14 were admitted in evidence.
The police officer told the court that the defendant made his statement voluntarily, adding that he wrote the statement on his behalf because the defendant said he could not write in English.
The defence counsel, Abdulrasheed Ibrahim, objected to the claim that the defendant made a statement at the police station.
Mr Ibrahim argued that the defendant did not make any statement and he was forced to sign the statement tendered by the prosecution.
The court ordered a trial within trial to test the voluntariness of the statement of the defendant.
In the trial within trial, the witness said that he wrote the defendant’s statement on his behalf after he told him he could not write in English.
“The defendant spoke in Pidgin and I recorded him in English, in a very conducive atmosphere. The office where I wrote the statement was very open and people were moving up and down.
“We were eight in the room but I was the only one that interviewed him. He was okay while I was recording his statement. I put questions to him and also have him a seat in front of me.
“There was an air conditioner in the office. At the gender unit, we do not use battery on suspects. He gave me his statement voluntarily and he was friendly while making it my lord,” the witness said.
During cross-examination of the trial within trial, the witness said the defendant did make the statement in February and he could not remember if a lawyer represented the defendant while he was in detention.
He added that the eight people in the office were his colleagues, adding that the office was transparent and the people in the corridor could see what was happening in the office.
The defendant also alleged that he was detained in a cell for two days until his brother arrived with a lawyer.
The defendant, however, denied the signature on the said statement.
Justice Ramon Oshodi, in his ruling, dismissed the trial within trial and admitted the defendant’s extra judicial statement in evidence.
“The defence counsel objected that the defendant was forced to sign a statement and upon evidence given by the defendant in the trial within trial, the defendant said he did not know anything about the statement and he did not append his signature.
“The defendant’s extra-judicial statement is hereby admitted in evidence and the trial within trial is hereby dismissed as it was not necessarily needed in the first place,” Mr Oshodi said.
The judge adjourned the case until June 30 for the continuation of trial.