Unilag gang-rape suspect seeks freedom to write exams

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Unilag entrance

A 20-year-old rape suspect, James Aguedo, Monday asked an Ikeja Domestic Violence and Special Offences Court to grant him bail so he can sit for his university examination.

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Unilag Maingate

Aguedo, a Babcock University student, is one of the five students charged with the 2017 gang-rape of a University of Lagos (Unilag) student within the premises of the institution.

His co-defendants are: Moboluwaji Omowole, Chuka Chukwu and Peace Nwankama, all aged 19, as well as Josephine Osemeka, 20.

Aguedo made the bail application through his counsel, Mr Lawal Pedro (SAN), before Justice Abiola Soladoye.

Pedro prayed the court to allow Aguedo to write the examination scheduled for April.

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He said: “By April, he is to start his examination in Babcock University; we urge your lordship to exercise discretion on the most compassionate grounds and grant the defendant bail for him to take part in the examination.”

Pedro noted that Aguedo had a health challenge and was charged with a misdemeanor.

“The defendant is suffering from a recurring back ailment. We brought not just a medical report, but the history, because he has been attending an orthopaedic hospital,” he added.

But lead prosecution counsel, Mrs Fehinti Ogbemudia, opposed him.

“The prosecution submits that the application for bail lacks merit and should be refused,” Ogbemudia said.

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Following the submissions, Justice Soladoye adjourned till April 18 for ruling.

Aguedo and his four co-defendants were arraigned on February 26 on a three-count charge of defilement of a child, permitting defilement of a child on a premises and procuration.

They pleaded not guilty, following which the judge ordered their remand at the Kirikiri Prisons, Lagos.

In the course of the trial, the complainant testified that she was lured by Nwakanma, who was her roommate to High Rise, a staff quarters in UNILAG.

She said she was gang-raped at High Rise by eight students, adding that the sexual assault was videotaped.

According to the student, she was also blackmailed with the video and further gang-raped on other occasions by the defendants and their accomplices who are now at large.