Justice Adekunle Adeleye of an Ado-Ekiti High Court has discharged and acquitted a 55-year-old university lecturer, Dr Ayinde Olukayode, of rape charges.
Olukayode, who lectures at the Ekiti State University, has been standing trial for rape, an offence contrary to Section 31 (c) of the Child’s Rights Law, Cap. C7, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the lecturer, who was arraigned on March 7, 2022, pleaded not guilty to the allegation of raping a 12-year-old girl in August 2020.
In his judgment, Adeleye held that the prosecution witnesses created doubt in the mind of the court with the discrepancies in their evidence.
The judge said the prosecution failed “to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.”
He, therefore, discharged and acquitted Olukayode of the offence of rape for insufficient evidence.
During the trial, the prosecution called four witnesses and tendered four exhibits, while the defendant called five witnesses.
The prosecution, through witnesses, claimed that the defendant allegedly had carnal knowledge of the victim several times, while the victim told the court that she did not inform anybody.
The medical doctor that examined the minor confirmed that her hymen was broken, affirming that there was a fresh injury on the girl’s external genitalia without discharge.
The child said in June 2021, a group, led by the Ekiti State Attorney-General, came to her school to give a sensitisation lecture, adding that she wrote down the Ministry of Justice’s helpline dictated to students by the attorney-general.
She said she confided in a man who had a shop next to her guardian because she wanted to borrow his phone to call the ministry’s helpline.
Rather, the man helped her inform one of her teachers, who later briefed the principal and in turn contacted the Ekiti State Sexual Referral Centre.
The father of the minor, Olatunji Ojo, who testified on oath as a defence witness, told the court that Olukayode did not rape his child because the man was “a father to all.”
Olukayode, in his defence, claimed that he was battling erectile dysfunction, which medically could not position him to have sexual intercourse.