Justice Abiola Soladoye of an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court on Monday issued a stern warning to three alleged cultists on trial for allegedly abducting and gang-raping two female 15-year-old secondary school students.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the judge warned Kayode Damilare, Laguda Kamal and Quadri Ajala , alleged members of the Eiye Confraternity cult group to stop issuing threats to the complainants and their families.
Justice Soladoye issued the warning after Mr Akin George, the Deputy-Director in the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) sought for the protection of the court on behalf of the complainants.
“I seek the protection of the witnesses from the defendants and their gang. They have been issuing threats to the complainants and their family.
“One of them had to move out of Lagos to stay in Ibadan because of safety reasons,” George said.
Following George’s request, Justice Soladoye said to the defendants “if any harm comes to the complainants or their family, this court will hold you solely responsible.
“Inform the other members of your gang out there to stop threatening the witnesses or else you will all bear the consequences”.
The judge also instructed the complainants and members of their families to go to the nearest police station to file a formal complaint.
NAN reports that Damilare, Kamal and Ajala face a three-count charge of abduction, defilement and belonging to an unlawful society.
They are accused by the prosecution of gang-raping the first complainant sometime in February 2017 at Agarawu area of Lagos Island.
The defendants allegedly abducted and gang-raped the second complainant over a period of three days from Jan. 26 to 29, 2018 at a residence in Idoluwo St., Adeniji Adele area of Lagos Island.
According to George “The three defendants, members of the Eiye Confraternity, an unlawful society, abducted and gang-raped the complainants as part of an initiation ceremony into the cult group.”
The offence contravened the provisions of sections 42, 137 and 268 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.
The commencement of the defendants was however stalled due to the absence of their counsel during Monday’s proceedings.
Justice Soladoye adjourned the case until Oct. 17 for commencement of trial.
edited by Sadiya Hamza