Thursday, 7 February 2013

Court strikes out case against 'Facebook lover' accused of attempted rape

A Tinubu Magistrates’ Court in Lagos on Wednesday struck out a case of attempted rape against Arthur Obiora for “want of diligent prosecution”.

Obiora, 26, was arraigned on Nov. 9, 2012, over an alleged attempt to rape one Nkiruka Akabuogu at 1004 Flats, Victoria Island, Lagos.

He faced a three-count charge of threat to life, attempted rape and causing bodily harm to 21-year-old Akabuogu. Obiora, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The magistrate, Mrs A. O. Awogboro, who took over the case from Mr Martins Owunmi on Wednesday, following a reshuffle in the Lagos State Judiciary, granted a prayer of the defence to strike out the case.

Mr I. O. Fubara, the defence counsel, had asked the court to strike out the case since Nkeiruka and her family had not appeared in court since the inception of the case in November 2012.

After the arraignment, the case had been adjourned till Dec. 12, 2012 and again till Jan. 18, before it came up on Wednesday but no prosecution witness showed up.

Fabura had told the court during the last hearing that the families of Obiora and Akabuogu had “entered into discussions on how to resolve the case amicably’’.

The prosecutor, ASP Augustine Orji, told the court that the police informed Akabogu that the case was coming up on all the hearing dates.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Akabogu was initially hospitalised as a result of injuries sustained during the incident but has since been discharged.

NAN recalls that Orji, had told the court that Obiora met Akabuogu on Facebook, a social media network. He said the defendant subsequently invited her to a nightclub in Apapa on Oct. 31, 2012, after which they retired to his home at Block 10, Flat 317, 1004 Housing Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Orji had said that Obiora, who claimed to be an unemployed graduate of Igbinedion University, Okada, and the Centennial College, Ontario, Canada, shut all the doors in the apartment and demanded to have sex with Akabuogu.

: “The accused tried to rape her and also threatened to kill her with a bottle of beer when she refused.
``The girl, fearing for her life, then jumped down from the third floor of the high-rise building.
``Nkiruka was discovered lying unconscious in a pool of her own blood about 30 minutes later by security men in the premises, who then reported the incident to the police.
``The police took the girl to a hospital and after she regained consciousness, obtained her statement,’’ the prosecutor said.


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