By Ngozi Njoku
Lagos – A 45-year-old Gardner, Phillip Ononaku, who allegedly defiled a 13-year-girl, was on Tuesday remanded at the Kirikiri Prisons by an Ogudu Magistrates’ Court.
The Magistrate, Mrs E. Kubeinje, however, refused to take the plea of the defendant when the charge was read to him in court.
Kubeinje ordered that the defendant be kept behind bars, pending legal advice from the State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
“Because of the sensitivity of the case, it is difficult to grant bail. The case file should be duplicated and sent to the Office of the DPP for advice,” she said.
Kubeinje then adjourned the case until June 27, for mention.
The defendant, who is of no fixed address, is being tried for alleged unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.
The Police prosecutor, Insp. Lucky Ihiehie, told the court that the defendant committed the offence sometime in January at Olopomeji, Oworonshoki area of Lagos.
Ihiehie alleged that the defendant had been sleeping with the girl under a flower at IBB garden and each time, he gives her either N200 or N100.
The prosecutor told the court that the girl’s grandmother noticed that she wasn’t walking normally and when she was questioned after a series of threats, the minor opened up to her and narrated how it started.
“The defendant and his friend took the little girl home one day when she missed her way and since then, he would come to her house to lure her with money so he can sleep with her.’’
He normally takes her to the IBB garden to have sexual intercourse with her,’’ Ihiehie told the court.
He said the offence violated Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015, which prescribes life imprisonment for defilement.