An Oshodi Magistrates’ Court in Lagos on Wednesday struck out a charge of attempted rape preferred against a 28-year-old facebook lover, Kelvin Suru, for want of evidence.
The Magistrate, Mr Akeem Fashola, who struck out the case, chided the prosecution for what he called lack of seriousness and diligent prosecution.
He said the prosecution had failed to present any witness to testify in the case since the trial began. “The court is not a warehouse where cases are kept without making any significant progress. ‘The case is hereby struck out and the accused discharged,” Fashola ruled. Suru, a Lagos resident was charged with a two-count offence of conspiracy and attempted rape. The accused, who was first arraigned on March 21, 2013, pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail in the sum of N100, 000 with two sureties. The prosecution, Cpl. Kehinde Olatunde, had alleged that the accused committed the offences on March 13, 2013 at a hotel in Oshodi.
According to him, the accused with a man still at large abducted a 22-year-old woman for the purpose of raping her. “Suru met the woman, a student of Imo State University, Owerri, on facebook and lied to her that he is a councilor in Lagos. “The accused invited her to Lagos, promising to foot her transport and other bills.”
Olatunde said Suru also conspired with the yet-to-be apprehended accomplice to pose as his personal assistant and took the girl to the hotel room that was booked for her.
“The accomplice led her to Suru’s room where he attempted to rape her,” he added.
The prosecutor alleged that the accused tore the woman’s dress in his desperate bid to rape her. “When she realised that the accused had overpowered her, she screamed and this alerted workers of the hotel, who rescued her,” he said.
The offences, Olatunde noted, contravened Sections 144 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.