Justice Abiola Soladoye of the Lagos State Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court in Ikeja, yesterday declined to grant bail to three students of the University of Lagos, who were accused of gang raping a fellow student of the institution.
While ruling on their separate bail applications, Justice Soladoye held that due to the grievous nature of the offence, the court is unable to exercise its discretionary powers in their favour.
The judge also held that there were no compelling nor exceptional circumstances provided in their applications that could move the court to grant them bail.
She said, “The applicants are denied bail and this honorable court shall give this case accelerated hearing.”
The Lagos state government had arraigned the students: Moboluwaji Omowole, 19, Chuka Chukwu, 19, and Peace Nwankama, 19, before the court on a three-counts charge of defilement of a child and permitting the defilement of a child in a premises and procuration.
The court had on April 18, dismissed a similar application filed by their co-defendant, James Aguedo, a 20-year-old student of Babcock University on the ground that he also failed to provide compelling circumstances to warrant the granting of bail.
The judge had also fixed ruling on the bail application of another co-defendant, 20-year- old Josephine Osemeka for May 2.
All the accused persons had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The victim of the crime had on February 26, testified in court that she was lured by Peace Nwankama, who was her roommate, to High Rise, a staff quarters hostel at UNILAG where she was gang-raped by eight students and the sexual assault was video-taped.
According to her, she was also blackmailed with the video and further gang-raped on other occasions by the defendants and their accomplices who are now at large.
The five students have been remanded at the Kirikiri Prisons since February 26, the day they were arraigned for the alleged offences.
Justice Soladoye adjourned the case until May 2 for continuation of trial.
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