Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress
A sexual defendant, Muyideen Bilau, has been discharged of rape charges for want of diligent prosecution after eight years in prison.
The defendant who was never tried has been in prison custody for eight years and nine months.
He was arrested on April 5, 2014 and remanded on April 14, 2014 and was never tried in court after prosecution failed to present a witness.
Justice Ramon Oshodi of the Ikeja Sexyal Offences and Domestic Violence Court, Lagos State, discharged Muyideen.
Tbe prosecutinh counsel at the resumed hearing, Bukola Okeowo, announced her appearance, while the defense counsel, Yusuf Nurudeen, equally announced his appearance.
Okeowo stated that there is no witness however the trial should commence. Nurudeen, in his response to that, asked the court to strike out the case for want of diligent prosecution as the case has been adjourned so many times without verdict.
Nurudeen stated that on September 30, 2021, the defendant was arraigned for a sexual offence before this court and since then, the prosecution had not called any witness.
He said, “Upon his arraignment, the court gave accelerated hearing and on June 16, 2022, the prosecution made the same application and on October 14, 2022, the same application was made by the prosecution.
“Our application is that this case should be struck out for want of diligent prosecution and Section 231 (1) gives this court the ultimate power to strike out this case for want of diligent prosecution.”
The judge held, “have carefully listened to the defence counsel to strike out the case; the application succeeds.
“The defendant is discharged but not acquitted.”