– Court has sent two students of Adeyemi college of education to life imprisonment
– Another student also bagged seven years imprisonment
– They were found guilty of offence of cultism
Three students of Adeyemi college of education, Ondo, Ondo state, Ibijole Oludayo popularly known as Malawi, Otuyemi Tosin and Ogundeji Festus have been sentenced to a life imprisonment and seven years respectively having been found guilty of the offence of ra.pe and cultism by an Akure High Court.
Daily Trust reports that the three students were dragged before the court after reports of ra.pe of some girls in the same institution said to be part of the initiation rites of the girls into their cult group were blew opened.
It was gathered that the accused persons pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges preferred against them when it was read to them before hearing commenced.
The prosecuting counsel, B. Adegoke, a Deputy Director in charge of Public Prosecutions (DDPP) had called to the witness stand one of the victims, Omolola George who testified that on the day she was ra.ped, she was forcefully taken away by her assailants at gun point from the school premises on a motorcycle while one of them threatened her that if she raised any alarm, she would be killed.
She also testified that the accused abducted her from the school armed. The court gave the defendants opportunity to legally represent themselves by speaking for them and also cross examine the witness due to the absence of their lawyer in court.
The witness further told the court that the guys took her to an unknown destination, ra.ped her and later took her back to her hostel at about 10 p.m that fateful day. One of the defendants, Ibijole Oludayo while cross examining the witness, asked her why she did not shout for help when she was brought back to the hostel.
She told the court that she did not shout for help as she was afraid because she had been earlier threatened and that she was also ashamed of exposing herself to public ridicule if she made public that she had been ra.ped. She said that she ran inside her hostel after they dropped her and left. She further stated that she called her mother to intimate her of the ordeal and the mother reportedly came to the school the next day to pick her.
She said further that they went to inform the School authority about the development because of their upcoming test as she was to be taken to the hospital that day for medical attention. The court then asked the witness how she was able to identify her assailants when she went to report to the police. To this, she said she saw the faces of her assailant and hearing them call themselves by name; she was able to identify them at their department’s office.
The prosecution also called another victim, Akintolayo Abigail, to the witness stand. Abigail told the court how she too was ra.ped by the same group. She however admitted to have been a girlfriend to one of them, Ogundeji Festus, who is the third accused person. She told the court that she saw Festus on that fateful day when she was ra.ped on her way from school and had eventually followed him home on a motorcycle they took together after he insisted on going out on a date with her that day.
She further testified that when she got to his house, she was surprised to find some other boys there. She stated that they told her that she would be ra.ped and that it was the second defendant, Ibijole Oludayo who removed her clothes, while Festus was the first to ra.pe her and slapped her with four others coming in to also ra.pe her after him. She said that though she cried for mercy, they were not moved by her pleas. She disclosed that they brought out charms and told her that she had been initiated into their cult which she identified as “Eye”.
Like the first witness, she said that she too was threatened not to tell anyone her experience. She said she went to a chemist to complain and the chemist gave her some drug which she took. She confessed to have been living in fear since the incident occurred until she heard of the same kind of assault on some people which she called “Omolola and Damilola”.
She also confessed to have seen the first witness in the midst of the defendants on the day she was ra.ped. She told the court that she was eventually arrested by the school authorities for not reporting the incident that happened to her which made her to put aside her fear and come to court to testify as the school had threatened her with expulsion if she failed to. The prosecution after calling the victims as witnesses had also called three more witnesses.
The presiding judge, Justice O.O Akeredolu convicted them while placing reliance on the evidence brought before the court by the prosecution such as the victim’s testimony, the medical evidence brought by one Johnson of the school’s health center coupled with police investigations.
Following their conviction, Akeredolu sentenced the first and the second accused person to life imprisonment while she sentenced the third accused person to seven years imprisonment.
Spokesperson for the school, Olatuyi Oluseto however, said that they were aware of the count verdict but it is simply a criminal case.