Alleged defilement: Chrisland Supervisor petitions NJC, accuses judge of bias
Adegboyega Adenekan, a Supervisor at Chrisland School, Lagos, accused of defiling a pupil of the school, has petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC), accusing the trial judge, Justice Sybil Nwaka, of bias.
Adenekan is standing trial for allegedly defiling a two-year-old pupil of the school.
At the resumption of the case on Tuesday, Nwaka had registered her displeasure at the defence’s delay in filing their final written address after the prosecution and defence had closed their cases respectively.
Addressing Mrs M. Obi-Farinde, the defence counsel, the trial judge noted that the defence had filed a Motion on Notice dated October 14 requesting that she exclude herself from the case as Adenekan had filed a petition against her.
“There is a Motion on Notice before me seeking that Hon. Justice Nwaka excuse herself from proceedings.
“As part of the Motion, there is also an exhibit which is a petition written by the defendant in the case of defilement against the judge to the NJC.
“This is a 2017 case and we have gone through the rigors of trial and at the point of conclusion, you come up with a Motion.
“I am adjourning till tomorrow, and you will come to court, move your Motion and adopt your final written address. If you are not here, the needful will be done,” the judge said.
Earlier during proceedings, Mr Babajide Boye, the lead prosecutor in the case, informed the court that the defence had delayed filing of their court processes.
Boye noted that the defence filed their final written address on October 15, which was three months after Justice Nwaka had said parties should file their final written address on July 14. He said the delay on the part of the defence was a calculated attempt to “frustrate and abort” the case.
“The prosecution having waited till no avail filed our written address last week on October 10. My lord, it is a surprise to the prosecution that they filed their written address just yesterday and they are supposed to be the first to file.
“We see it as an ambush and we have filed a fresh final written address and the defence also filed a Motion on Notice dated October 14 and we have filed a counter-affidavit in response.
“It is clear that the defence is trying to stall proceedings, we apply that the right of the defence to reply the final written address be foreclosed,” Boye said.
Obi-Farinde in her response, denied the allegations of the prosecution.
“It is not correct that the defendant just filed its final written address; it was dated Sept 19 and filed on September 20.
“The file was not in court because of the compilation of appeal, the counsel we sent missed the file,” she said.
Obi-Farinde noted that the defence needed time to respond to the prosecution’s final written address, which was dated October 15.
“They (the prosecution) have raised certain issues that we need to respond to. It was not our intent to hold back the court.
“It is in the interest of justice and fair hearing for us to respond to the final written address,” she said.
Nwaka, however disputed the defence counsel’s claim that the file of the case was not in court.
“As at September 19, the file was here in court, that is your lack of due diligence, the file was in this court,” she said.
The judge adjourned the case till October 16 for adoption of the final written address.
NAN reports that Adenekan who was arraigned on January 29, 2018 pleaded not guilty to a charge of defilement of the pupil.
The prosecution alleged that Adenekan committed the offence sometime in November 2016 at Chrisland School, Victoria Garden City (VGC), Lagos.
According to the prosecution, the defendant defiled the complainant by having unlawful sexual intercourse with her.
The offence contravenes Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011 which stipulatess a life sentence for anyone convicted of defiling a child.