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Lekki Gang-Rape Case: Victim Seeks To Withdraw Case From Court

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

The young lady who was allegedly gang-raped by the son of a Lagos hotelier, Don-Chima George, 25, and his friend, Razak Oke, 28, has sought to withdraw the case from court.

Recall that Happenings reported the alleged crime by George, the son of the owner of the Dallankester Hotels, and Rasak which led to their arrest at the aforementioned hotel by men of the Lagos State Police Command.

George and his friend had allegedly drugged the victim’s drink and took her to a room in the hotel in Lekki Phase 1, where they had sex repeatedly with her in her weak state while videoing the whole escapade.

The 23-year-old lady and her family pressed charges against the suspects but the family of the suspects continued to intimidate her parents with trumped-up charges.

Initially, the victim had maintained that she was unmoved by their attempt to thwart justice but it seems like they have finally got to her through her family as she has now applied for the withdrawal of her case in new reports.

According to various sources, the victim requested the discontinuation of the defendants’ prosecution at a proceeding on Thursday in a letter dated June 3, 2019, and titled ‘Letter of Withdrawal’, addressed to the Director of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions in Lagos State.

The victim stated that she was withdrawing the case because of family members’ intervention and for her integrity in the letter that was read in court by Justice Abiola Soladoye.

The prosecutor, Akin George, however, opposed the complainant’s request.

“We do not have a directive from the office of the attorney general and my Lord, the attorney general is the complainant in this case," he told the court.

“In every criminal matter, the victims are natural witnesses and as we speak, there is no AG in office due to the change in power and we are also aware of the rule of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, which states that even the Court of Appeal cannot stay an ongoing proceeding.

“Our office initiated this action in court and there has to be a closure one way or the other. My Lord, we have submitted issues for the respective decisions of this court and we will bring the witness to state her position before the court, while we continue proceedings and await directives from the AG’s office.”

Tunji Ayanlaja, the defense counsel, stated that while he shared the views of the prosecution that Lagos State originated the criminal suit, he disagreed that the absence of the AG had created a vacuum.

He said: “The constitution is so clear that when we do not have an AG in office, the solicitor-general takes over the function of the AG. My Lord, we are ready to proceed.

“The unfortunate thing is that the defendants have been in prison ever since. The complainant, who is the witness, has developed cold feet for one reason or the other; this development is replete in the letter by the complainant and to meet the end of justice, I apply that your lordship should consider releasing the defendants on bail.”

Ultimately, Justice Abiola Soladoye ruled that the court would continue with the proceedings and adjourned the case till June 18 for directives from the office of the Attorney General.