A 26-year-old teacher, Akorede Quadri, was on Thursday discharged and acquitted of a rape charge by an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in her judgement, Justice Abiola Soladoye discredited the claim by a female teacher, Damilola Odekunle, that she was raped by Quadri, her colleague.
Soladoye upheld the claim of Quadri that they were “friends with benefits”.
The judge said,“ In instances where there were controversies as to whether consent was willingly given, medical evidence should be provided.”
She held that the prosecution did not prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, adding that it failed to provide to the court, medical evidence that the complainant was raped.
“The evidence of the defendant (Quadri) was given in a respectful and precise manner.
“He was coherent and quite articulate. His evidence established that there was a relationship between him and the complainant,” the judge said.
She said that the defendant established that there was regular sex intercourse between him and the complainant, even after she reported the controversial sex of September 2017 to the police.
“This is a case of a friendship that went sour as far as this court is concerned.
“With all due respect, after watching and observing the defendant and the complainant, I’m inclined to believe the version, as presented by the defendant.
“The complainant was very unbelievable,” she added.
The judge held that the complainant was like someone out to take revenge on a lover.
“In the light of my findings, in this case, I find you, Akorede Quadri, not guilty of the one-count charge, of the offence contained on the information dated July 23, 2018.
“I hereby discharge and acquit you accordingly. This is the judgment of this court,” Soladoye held.
Following the judgment, Mrs Fehinti Ogbemudia, Lagos State counsel, and Mr Kelechi Obi, Quadri’s counsel, thanked the court as Quadri, who appeared relieved, raised his hands, thanking God.
NAN reports that two witnesses – the complainant and Sgt. Yemi Amao, a policewoman – testified on behalf of the prosecution, while Quadri solely took the stand in his defence.
Amao, in her evidence, said that the complainant reported the rape allegedly committed in September 2017 to the police in November 2017.
She told the court that Quadri raped the complainant after he went to her apartment in Ikotun, Lagos, to pick up a bag he kept in her possession.
In her evidence, the complainant testified that Quadri and she were both working in a school in Lagos, adding that she had worked in the school for only two weeks when the alleged rape occurred.
The complainant, now 30-year-old, said she was 27 years old at the time of the alleged rape.
She said that Quadri who was 24 then, raped her when he came to collect a bag he kept in her possession.
“When he came to my house, he grabbed me and raped me. I said to him, “What if I get pregnant?” He asked if I had potash at home and I said, “Yes”, and he gave me potash, water and salt to drink.
“Quadri left my house, I was not happy. After some hours, I heard a knock on my door; it was him and his sister, who he brought to come to my house to charge her phone.
“I used the opportunity to ask questions about him from his sister. I didn’t get any cogent answers.
“When his sister’s phone was fully charged, they left. I want this court to grant me justice,” she said.
Quadri, who was arraigned on Jan. 10, on a count charge of rape, disputed the claims in his evidence.
“She told me she was a divorcee, she said she married her ex-husband as a virgin and he made her unhappy.
“I told her to forget him and move on with her life. We became friends with benefits.
“The sexual intercourse we had was not forced, it was consensual. She nagged after the intercourse that I ejaculated inside her.
“I asked if she had salt and potash in her house and she said, “Yes”. She added the salt and potash inside the water and drank it.
“This was in September 2017; I have had several rounds of sexual intercourse with her after that occasion. I can’t count the number of times we had sex,” he said.
According to Quadri, the relationship between them became sour due to the complainant’s jealousy resulting from his perceived relationships with other women.