An Islamic cleric, Abdulsalam Salaudeen, has been accused of raping a five-year-old girl after he was caught in the act with a hidden camera.
The lead state prosecutor, Mr Akin George, presented evidence incriminating the 43-year-old Alfa for raping a minor.
A social worker, identified as Mr Ebenezer Omejalile, who happens to be a child protection consultant, testified before an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court on Thursday.
Salaudeen, the accused, resides at Number 16, Awoyemi Street, Ikotun, Lagos, and will be facing a charge of child defilement contrary to Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos, 2015.
The social worker informed the court that a hidden camera was set up in a Lagos mosque, which captured the cleric engaging in sodomy with a pupil.
Omejalile narrated to the court how he was able to hear about Salaudeen’s alleged unlawful act.
“A community-mandated reporter drew my attention to what was happening in the community.
“She said that Alfa Abdulsalam had been abusing children who attend his Islamic school in the community,
“We (Omejalile and his team members) also found out that he was not just a cleric, he was regarded as a demi-god in the community.
“We got a laser camera and we planted the laser camera within the vicinity of the mosque,” he said.
The witness added that the camera caught Salaudeen in the act of defiling one of his pupils, a five-year-old girl (name withheld), for security and social reasons. The graphic footage was obtained and transferred into a mobile phone.
The mobile phone containing the video was taken to the Child Protection Unit of the Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development.
However, the unit refused to attend to the matter, which prompted Omejalile to go to the police instead.
“When I got there, they were not ready to attend to the issue; they told me in Yoruba that they did not want to see something unusual,” Omejalile continued.
“I proceeded immediately to the office of the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), I gave him a copy of the footage which was sent to the then Lagos State Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr Edgal Imohimi.
“Initially, the CP found it difficult to believe the video because of its graphic nature and kept asking if I was sure of its authenticity. It took a week for him to act on it.
“Meanwhile, the mandated reporter kept calling me, saying that children were still being sexually abused by the cleric.
“I called the PPRO to immediately act on it or the press would be contacted, and on Dec. 28, 2018, a team was set up to arrest the Alfa.”
Omejalile also informed the court that the team comprised of himself, police officers from the State Investigation Bureau (SIB) and the Gender Unit and they infiltrated the accused’s residence before apprehending him.