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23-year-old acquitted of rape after two years in prison

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Justice Abiola Soladoye of the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court on Thursday discharged and acquitted Victory Tasie, a 23-year-old accused of raping his 19-year-old girlfriend, after two years in prison.

Soladoye discharged and acquitted Tasie when she ruled on a no-case submission filed by the defendant via Mrs Rukayat Owolabi, his counsel, dated March 19, 2024.

The Justice held that the prosecution failed to discharge the burden of evidence of defilement against Tasie.

Soladoye held that the witness (Tasie’s girlfriend, alleged survivor) called by the prosecution had confirmed to the court in her testimony that Tasie was her boyfriend and that he did not rape her.

According to the judge, the proof of the survivor was vital, and she testified before the court that she was not a minor when she got pregnant with the defendant, as she was born on April 12, 2003.

She said, “The defence counsel filed a no-case submission dated March 19, stating that the prosecution had failed to establish the charge of defilement against the defendant and urged the court to discharge and acquit him.

“The prosecution only called one witness, and having not been able to call other witnesses, the prosecution closed its case on February 8, 2024.

“I have carefully considered the submissions of the learned counsel, and the court finds that the prosecution failed to prove the charge of defilement against the defendant.

“I hereby uphold the no-case submission of the defendant in this case. The defendant has no case to answer, and he is hereby discharged and acquitted.”

The state government had alleged Tasie of defiling his girlfriend, the said survivor, who was 16 years old, according to the charge, sometime in January 2022.

The survivor, however, in her testimony dated November 8, 2023, told the court that she was 19 years old and not 16 when Tasie had sex with her, which led to pregnancy.

Tasie’s girlfriend had also told the court that he did not rape her as they were both in a romantic relationship, and the sex that occurred was consensual.

She said, “Yes, I know the defendant. He is my boyfriend. I am here in this court to say that he did not rape me, and he is my boyfriend. I was not 16 years old when I got pregnant; I was 19.”

 

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