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HomeLatest newsLagos doctor’s absence stalls arraignment for defiling in-law

Lagos doctor’s absence stalls arraignment for defiling in-law



SPECIAL OFFENSE COURT

The arraignment of the medical doctor of Optimal Cancer Care Foundation, Dr Olufemi Olaleye, before an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, over alleged defilement of his wife’s 15-year-old niece, was on Monday stalled due to his absence.

LENTORLITENEWS Metro gathered that when the matter was called, the prosecuting counsel, Oluwagbenga Alagbe, told the court that the prosecution had done the needful in a letter dated November 18, that was sent to the defendant and the Investigating Police Officer to notify all parties of the defendant’s arraignment.

Alagbe said a letter sent to the defendant was duly acknowledged, adding that it could be regarded as Exhibit A.

“We equally sent a letter to the complainant and the Investigating Police Officer, but unfortunately the defendant is not here. In view of the circumstance, we shall be asking for a bench warrant against the defendant,” he said.

In his response, the defendant’s counsel Babatunde Ogala SAN, leading Olusegun Fabunmi SAN, told the court that the defendant was out of town and had not been served with the information contained in the charge.

Ogala said, “The defendant is out of town and has not been served. What the law says is that we should be given a clear three days to be served but that was not done. It is true a letter was also sent to Mr Fabunmi.”

Countering Alagbe’s submission, Ogala said, “So asking for a bench warrant for a man who has neither jumped bail nor refused to appear, is not running anywhere, if he was in Lagos, he will be here. We ask for a date for arraignment to be done. Even when there is no service, we are here on his behalf.

“My lord, we got to know of today’s arraignment through a letter sent to the office of the defendant. It is out of respect for the court that we appear to represent our client who has not been served.

“As at the time the letter was sent to his office, he was out of town. How can somebody that doesn’t know what he is being charged for appear before the court.”

The defence counsel also informed the court that he had the intention of serving the prosecution a summons for bail but Alagbe, in his reply, said if he would reply the summons.

However, Justice Ramon Oshodi asked the lead defence counsel if he could receive service in court and Ogala said they would receive it since they were in court.

After confirming service in the court, Ogala asked the court for an adjournment to enable the defendant to appear for his arraignment.

Consequently, Justice Oshodi adjourned the case till November 30, for the defendant to take his plea.

After the proceedings, a mild drama ensued when one of the defense counsels, Fabunmi, allegedly harassed journalists for taking video records outside the courtroom.

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