An Iwo Road Magistrates’ Court in Ibadan on Friday denied bail to six secondary school students who were alleged to have raped a female colleague.
The students: Akeem Abee, 17, Olaiya Faruq, 16, Kazeem Awal, 16, Ajao Waris, 17, Alamu Boluwatife, 17, and Dauda Mubarak, 17, are facing trial for conspiracy and rape.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Chief Magistrate, Mr Taiwo Oladiran, said the magistrate court does not have jurisdiction to hear the case.
Oladiran said : ” We all have powers; the issue of their age range of between 16 and 17 years is very important.
” If we have a very good correctional centre for minors where they can be corrected, they would have been held there.
” Even though the defendants are minors, they are to be remanded at Agugu police station pending receipt of legal advice from the Oyo State Directorate of Public Prosecution,” he said.
The magistrate , thereafter, adjourned the matter till Dec 13 for mention.
Earlier, the defence counsel, Mrs Christy Gbadeyanka, had asked the court to take the pleas of the defendants and grant them bail, citing some precedents.
She argued that defendants were minors and keeping them with criminals would affect them negatively.
Gbadeyanka said the defendants had learnt their lesson while in the police custody.
She added that the defendants would not jump bail if released to reliable sureties, adding that the sureties would ensure they were available for their trial.
The defence counsel also submitted that the defendants were first time offenders and had no previous criminal records.
At the arraignment of the students, the Prosecutor, ASP Sunday Ogunremi, had alleged that the defendants on Nov. 17 at 6.00pm at Lagelu Grammar School, Ibadan, had unlawful carnal knowledge of one female student.
He said that the offences contravened Sections 516 and 485 of the Criminal Code Cap 38, Vol. II, Laws of Oyo State, 2000.
(Edited & Vetted By: Bayo Sekoni/Mufutau Ojo)