By Adebisi Onanuga and Yinka Adeniran
IBADAN – Two former students of Babcock University, Ilishan, Don-Chima George 25, and Olusegun Rasak, 28, accused of allegedly drugging and raping a 24-year-old woman in Delankaster Hotel, Lekki, Lagos, on Wednesday asked that their case file be transferred from the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court.
This is just as the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof Idowu Olayinka, called on staff and students of the institution to familiarise themselves with the various laws against sexual harassment in the school, saying ignorance would not be taken as an excuse for anybody found wanting.
The vice chancellor spoke at the quarterly media chat organised by the UI-owned campus radio, Diamond 101.1FM, against the backdrop of trending media investigation on sexual assault and sex-for-grade scandals in some West African universities.
The ex-Babcock University students made the request through their counsel, Ms. Funmi Adeogun of the law chambers of Mr. Tunji Ayanlaja (SAN) at the resumed proceeding of their matter before the trial judge, Justice Abiola Soladoye.
Adeogun had in a letter dated August 26, applied for transfer of the case file of the defendants from Justice Soladoye’s court.
She stated that her ground for the transfer of the case file to another judge was made to “save the good time of the court and maintain high order of fair hearing between parties.”
George and Rasak were previously denied bail and ordered to be remanded in prison custody in a ruling delivered on April 29 by the presiding judge, Justice Abiola Soladoye.
Justice Soladoye had denied the defendants bail because they had not placed any compelling or exceptional circumstances to warrant the court granting them bail.
The complainant (names withheld) had also testified against the defendants, George and Rasak, and cross-examined by the defence on May 15 and June 13.
However, a new dimension was introduced into the case yesterday, sequel to bail granted them on July 31 during the annual long vacation by a vacation judge, Justice Ganiyu Safari.
Justice Safari had granted the defendants bail based on new grounds brought by the defence counsel, Ms Adeogun.
Reacting to the development on Wednsday, Justice Soladoye said the case file would be sent back to the registry for further directive from the chief judge.
She adjourned the case till November 26, pending the chief judge’s new directive on the matter.
The prosecuting team of the state led by Mr. Akin George, had alleged that the complainant, who is a friend with George, had gone to a nightclub with him and other friends of his, including Rasak, to celebrate George’s birthday.
It was alleged that while at the nightclub, the defendants mixed the complainant’s drink with a substance that allegedly rendered her unconscious later. (The Nation)