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Man accused of molesting 10-year-old cousin denied bail by court



On Monday, the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court refused the bail application of Uchenna Edom, who is facing a charge of defiling his 10-year-old cousin.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Edom had previously pleaded not guilty to the defilement charge when he was arraigned.

In his ruling, Justice Rahman Oshodi stated that while the case against the defendant had not been proven, it was serious and weighty.

“I am also not convinced that he will willingly appear for trial. In the interest of justice for the defendant, I have ordered an accelerated hearing and denied his bail application,” he said.

The judge adjourned the case until Feb. 12, 2024, for trial.

Prior to the ruling, the defense counsel, Mr A.O. Afuye, sought bail for the defendant in the interest of justice in his application dated Nov. 11 and filed the same day.

Afuye, in a 16-paragraph affidavit, requested that the defendant be granted bail until the case is resolved.

“The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. He has also promised to make himself available for trial and will not interfere with the course of justice, even though the alleged survivor is his cousin,” he stated.

The state counsel, Ms Bukola Okeowo, argued in her 13-paragraph counter-affidavit dated Nov. 20 and filed the same day, that the decision on bail was at the discretion of the court.

Okeowo contended that the defendant had not provided compelling reasons for being granted bail.

“We request the court to reject the defendant’s bail application to prevent any interference with the prosecution witnesses,” she urged.

Okeowo had previously informed the court of the prosecution’s intention to summon four witnesses in the case.

The prosecutor alleged that the defendant committed the offense in July 2022 in Isolo, Lagos.

It was alleged that the defendant illicitly engaged in sexual intercourse with his 10-year-old cousin.

According to the prosecution, this offense violates Section 137 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2015, which carries a penalty of life imprisonment if found guilty.