Alleged Rape: Detained Unilag lecturer fails to appear in court

A part-time lecturer at the University of Lagos who was accused of raping an 18-year-old girl was absent in court, Wednesday, as hearing continued into the alleged sexual assault.

Afeez Baruwa, 42, a lecturer in the Department of Accounting‎, allegedly raped the teenager in July, as she sought help to get admitted into the university.

‎After his arraignment in August, Mr. Baruwa was remanded at the Kirikiri prison pending his meeting of a N250, 000 bail with two sureties in like sum.

‎At the Ogba magistrate court on Wednesday, Terry Adeniji, the defence counsel, said the lecturer was “critically ill” in prison.

‎”He has not been given adequate medical care and he’d like to be granted bail so he can get adequate treatment outside the prison,” said Mr. Adeniji. “There is no access to the defendant.”

Jimah Iseghale, the police prosecutor, said the defence counsel’s claims were untrue, adding that the prosecution was awaiting further advice from the Director of Public Prosecution.

“The (defence) counsel is not in a position to tell whether the accused is sick or not because he is not a medical doctor,” he said.

But Ibukun Ibikunle, a lawyer holding a “watching brief” for the girl’s family, said‎ the accused refused to attend the day’s court hearing.

“I don’t understand what the defence counsel is saying,” said Mrs. Ibikunle, who works with the Office of the Public Defender.

“I contacted the Head of Prison and he said that when they were calling the names of those to come to court today, Baruwa didn’t show up, and he was left behind.”

‎The magistrate, Tajudeen Elias, adjourned the matter till September 21 for the DPP’s legal advice.

The police charged Mr. Baruwa with a one count of rape.

According to the charge: “That you, Baruwa Afeez, of Block 73, Flat 2, Abesan Estate, Ipaja, Lagos, on July 23, 2015, at about 09:25 hours, at the Faculty of Business Administration Annex building, Room 8, University of Lagos, in the Ikeja Magisterial District, did unlawfully rape one (name withheld), aged 18 years, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 258 of the Criminal Law of Justice, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011.”

Mr. Baruwa pleaded not guilty.

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