An Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court on Monday denied the bail application of a man, Uchenna Edom, charged with the defilement of his 10-year-old cousin.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Edom had earlier pleaded not guilty to a charge of defilement, following his arraignment.
Justice Rahman Oshodi in his ruling, held that though the case against the defendant had not been proven, it was weighty.
“I am also not satisfied that he will make himself available for trial.
“In the interest of justice on the part of the defendant, I hereby order an accelerated hearing and his bail application is hereby denied,” he said.
The judge adjourned the case until February 12, 2024 for trial.
Earlier, the defence counsel, A.O. Afuye, in his bail application dated November 11 and filed the same day, urged the court to grant the defendant bail, in the interest of justice.
Afuye, in his 16-paragraph affidavit, prayed the court that the defendant be granted bail pending the determination of the case.
“The defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty.
“The defendant, in the bail application has promised to make himself available for trial, will not interfere with the course of justice though the alleged survivor is his cousin,” he said.
The state counsel, Bukola Okeowo, in her 13-paragraph counter-affidavit dated November 20 and filed the same day, said that bail was at the discretion of the court.
Okeowo argued that the defendant had not stated any cogent reason why he should be granted bail.
“We urge the court to refuse the bail application of the defendant so that he does not interfere with the prosecution witnesses,” she said.
Okeowo had earlier told the court that the prosecution intended to call four witnesses in the case.
The prosecutor submitted that the defendant allegedly committed the offence in July 2022 in Isolo Lagos.
The prosecution alleged the defendant to have unlawfully had sexual intercourse with his 10-year-old cousin.
According to the prosecution, the alleged offence contravened Section 137 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2015 which attracts life imprisonment, if found guilty.