By Lukman Olabiyi
Lagos State Ikeja High Court, Ikeja, has discharged and acquitted a part-time Arabic teacher, Mr. Anisere Sulaimon, of a defilement and sexual assault charge after he spent almost four years in detention.
Justice R. A. Oshodi held that there was no prima facie case against Sulaimon, who was a final year student of the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education at the time of his arrest in 2018.
Sulaimon of Abesan Estate in Ipaja, Lagos, was accused of defiling and sexually assaulting a then four-year-old child, at Mahadu Ridwanullah Arabic and Islamic School, Opeki, in Abesan Estate.
He denied the allegation.
His counsel, Mr. Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem, filed a no-case submission, which the court upheld.
The judge agreed with Adetola-Kazeem that apart from Sulaimon denying the charge, the prosecution’s lone witness (Mercy Oluranti) also testified that she was aware that it was a relation of the child that used to have carnal knowledge of her.
The court noted that the witness said one Kehinde Adedeji, who is an uncle to the child, confessed to the crime of defiling the four-year-old.
Justice Oshodi held: “The prosecution has not made out a sufficient case to warrant the defendant being directed to put up a defence to count 1. I uphold the no-case submission in relation to this count and, therefore, accordingly, discharge and acquit the defendant on this count.
“Count 2. relates to the same victim, but this time, the penetration of her vagina in a sexual manner by the defendant.
The court observed that the witness did not witness the alleged offences, adding that, like count one, “the evidence of PWI does not raise a prima facie case,” and that “there is no ground for proceeding with defence. I hold that the no-case submission succeeds. The Defendant, Anisere Sulaiman, is accordingly discharged and acquitted.”