Connect with us


Judge acquits driver of defilement charge against two-year-old, rebukes police, DPP



Hakeem Odumosu

The Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) has been berated by the Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court.

The DPP and the police were rebuked on Tuesday for the poor handling of a defilement case against a driver.

The driver, Afeez Balogun, 30, was accused of defiling a two-year-old pupil of Holbrook Creche Nursery and Primary School in Gbagada, Lagos.

The judge acquitted Mr Balogun, holding that prosecution failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Acquitting the driver, Justice Abiola Soladoye held that the police did not investigate the case thoroughly before presenting it before the DPP.

“The police was shoddy in investigating this case. The state prosecution service domiciled in the DPP cannot be completely exonerated of blame.

“There ought to be closer interaction with the authorities and the DPP as each case is being investigated. It is not enough to be handing legal advice after investigations,” the judge said.

Ms Soladoye charged that prosecution, mainly the lawyers, must be actively involved in ensuring that evidence would be properly gathered, meticulously evaluated and every appropriate lead followed.

“Unless investigations are carried out in a painstaking, thorough manner, sloppy investigations shall continue to be the bane of this criminal justice system.

“The resultant effect is that criminals and offenders will go free, victims will be let down by the system and justice will not be seen to have been done,” she said.

The judge faulted the inability of the police to conduct an identification parade as required by law to properly identify who molested the minor in the school.

She described the identification parade conducted by the school, in which the minor picked out the defendant as the perpetrator, as self-serving.

The judge held that such a parade did not have any efficacy in law.

Ms Soladoye held that the failure of the minor to identify the defendant in the dock made the prosecution’s case “collapse like a pack of cards.”

She described the trial as a colossal waste of judicial time and resources.

Reacting to the judgment, defence counsel, Oluwole Kehinde, expressed gratitude to the court.

“There is no cohesion between the police, lawyers and the justice ministry, and the judges bear the brunt,” he said.

The prosecution led by Olusola Soneye had alleged that the driver, an employee of Holbrook Creche Nursery and Primary School, committed the offence sometime in July 2018.

Four witnesses – the minor, her mother, a medical doctor and a police officer – testified for the prosecution.

The doctor, Oyedeji Alagbe, had told the court that the child was incoherent during his interactions with her.

Mr Alagbe said the minor was, however, able to identify a dummy penis shown to her as what was used to defile her.

While testifying in court, the child failed to identify the defendant in court as her abuser but kept mentioning ‘Mr Wale’ as the perpetrator of the alleged crime. 

Mr Balogun spent three years in custody. He was 27 years old when he was remanded over the allegation.(NAN) 


COVID-19: WHO unsure Omicron more severe than Delta variant



Screenshot 20211129 065508 Quick Grid

World Health Organisation (WHO) says it is still ‘not clear’ whether the Omicron COVID-19 variant is more transmissible or more severe than Delta.

On Sunday, WHO said its experts, researchers in South Africa and worldwide are currently conducting studies to understand Omicron better.

The UN health agency on Friday named the COVID-19 variant identified in South Africa the Greek name ‘Omicron’, and labelled it a variant of concern due to its large number of mutations and possible faster rate of infection.

According to WHO, the experts are studying to understand the aspects of Omicron, but as of right now, it is not clear whether it is more transmissible compared to other variants, including Delta.

“The number of people testing positive has risen in areas of South Africa affected by this variant, but epidemiologic studies are underway to understand if it is because of Omicron or other factors,” WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) explained.

The group also highlighted that it is not clear whether infection with Omicron causes more severe disease compared to infections with other variants.

“While preliminary data suggests that there are increasing rates of hospitalisation in South Africa, this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected, rather than a result of a specific infection with Omicron,” the experts added.

They further stated that currently, there was no information to suggest that Omicron causes different COVID-19 symptoms.

However, the TAG-VE reaffirmed that preliminary evidence indicates that people who have previously had COVID-19 could become reinfected more easily with Omicron when compared to other variants of concern.

So far, the initially reported infections have been among younger individuals who tend to have more mild disease, “but understanding the level of severity of the Omicron variant will take days to several weeks,” the experts said.

The group emphasised that it is working with partners to understand the potential impact of this variant on vaccines, the effectiveness of current PCR tests, and existing treatments, but more information is still needed.

As a growing number of countries have imposed flight bans on southern African nations due to concerns over the Omicron variant, the UN health agency urged them to follow the evidence and International Health Regulations calling for “borders to remain open.”

While travel restrictions may play a role in slightly reducing the spread of COVID-19, “they place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods,” the agency said.

“If restrictions are implemented, they should not be unnecessarily invasive or intrusive and should be scientifically based, according to the International Health Regulations, which is a legally-binding instrument of international law recognised by over 190 nations,” WHO highlighted.

While investigations continue into the Omicron variant, the UN agency recommends countries take a risk-based and scientific approach and put measures that can limit its possible spread.

“With the Omicron variant now detected in several regions of the world, putting in place travel bans that target Africa attacks global solidarity. COVID-19 constantly exploits our divisions. We will only get the better of the virus if we work together for solutions,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

Flight bans have been imposed on southern African countries, but only two have detected the new variant so far. Meanwhile, countries in other regions such as Europe have reported cases of Omicron.


Continue Reading


Incest: Buhari regime wants Nigerian men castrated



Minister of Women Affairs Dame Pauline Tallen

“Incest is the worst form of gender-based violence, and I advocate castration as punishment for offenders,” stated Ms Tallen. “Let us name and shame the perpetrators…”

... Incest: Buhari regime wants Nigerian men castrated ... Peoples Gazette.

Continue Reading


How bandits entered, attacked Jos prison: NCoS



Screenshot 20211129 064438 Chrome

The Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) has confirmed bandits attacked the Jos Correctional Centre, revealing how the raid occurred on Sunday.

In a statement, the spokesman for the prison authorities, Francis Enobore, explained that the bandits invaded the prison yard at about 5:20 p.m.

“The Medium Security Custodial Centre in Jos, Plateau State came under attack by gunmen who stormed the facility in large number with sophisticated weapons,” the statement disclosed. “The invaders were said to have arrived at the centre at about 5:20 p.m. and immediately made for the main gate where they engaged the armed squad personnel in a gun battle before breaking into the yard.”

Although the bandits gained entry “into the yard, they were, however, trapped within as men from sister security services were immediately mobilised to assist the armed guards” in cordoning the perimeter wall and the “entire area.”

The statement further said, “Reinforcement from the response squad of the Service has also been mobilised to the centre. The situation is presently under control as the attackers’ firing power was subdued by superior fire from a combined team of security agencies.”

The prison authorities did not state if the bandits were caught and any casualties recorded in the attack.


Continue Reading