Justice Sybil Nwaka of the Sexual Offences Court in Ikeja, Lagos has berated the father of a 14-year-old victim of alleged rape who asked for the court to discontinue the rape charges filed against one Richard Mathew, whom he caught having sex with his underaged daughter in their compound in Isheri, sometime in July 2016.
When the case came up for hearing yesterday, the father told the court that his daughter has relocated and married in the Republic of Benin and that he will not want to continue the case anymore.
The father in his statement to the police in July 2016, said he had returned from work and asked for his daughter and was told the defendant had sent her on an errand. When he went to the defendant’s house to ask the whereabout of his daughter, he caught him having sex with his underaged daughter.. He fought with him and then called in the police at Isheri police station who immediately arrested the defendant.
In response to the application by the victims father, the judge said
”The state is the complainant in this matter and the nominal complainant (the victim) is not here. There is nothing to prove to the court that you are indeed the father of the victim. He is not in the position to withdraw the case because the complainant is the state. If the victim comes to court to say she is no longer interested, then the court can decide if the case should be withdrawn. I see him as nothing more than a meddlesome interloper. It is an offence against the state and all I can say is that the parents are a shame. They are more interested in not disturbing their new found in-laws than the well-being of their child. I would adjourn the matter for you to put your house in order and come back but until then, this case is very much on in this court. I hope the trend of this case will not send the wrong signal to the public because this is not the mission of this court. The mission of this court is to give justice to the victim in order to curb this social menace that is alarmingly on the rise” he said
The prosecution, Jide Boye, however, asked the court to issue a court order compelling the victim’s father to appear in court in the next adjourned date pending the decision of the prosecution on the status of the case.
The judge adjourned till March 22 and issued an order for the appearance of the victim’s father.