Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
A father and his son, aged 50 and 16 year respectively, have been arraigned at Evboriaria Magistrate Court in Benin City, the Edo State capital, for the allegedly rape of a 10-year-old girl.
The duo were arraigned on a one-count charge each.
According to prosecution, the offence is punishable under Section 218 of the Nigerian Criminal Code, Cap 48 Volume 2, under the laws of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria 1976, as applicable in Edo State.
The accused persons, Reuben Enosegbe and Reuben Destiny, pleaded not guilty before Chief Magistrate Efe Akhere of Oredo Magistrate Court 3.
Defence counsel Barrister Nicholas Omobude, who pleaded for their bail, argued that they were innocent of the crime until proven otherwise.
The lawyer promised that the accused persons will not jump bail.
He also pleaded that the 2nd accused person is a minor and should be granted bail.
His effort to secure their bail did not however scale through, as Chief Magistrate Efe Akhere said the matter will not be tried in his court.
The court meanwhile transferred the case to a family court where the accused persons’ bail will be considered upon resumption on Wednesday April 21, 2018.
In the meantime, the father as first accused would be remanded at Oko Prison, while his son who is a minor will be interned at Children’s Remand Home, Ugbekun Quarters in Benin City.
This case follows a similar pattern with the case of a 70-year-old grandfather and his two sons who were arraigned for allegedly defiling a nine-year-old girl in the same city.
Commenting on the outcome of the court procedure, defence counsel Nicholas Omobude expressed optimism that his clients would get justice.
The victim, 10, was also in court. She had earlier disclosed to reporters how father and son had carnal knowledge with her at different occasions.
She said she was always tempted with N20 during the many times they defiled her.
She also said at times she was asked to buy recharge card for them just to lure her into their house.
Members of Child Protection Network, led by Jennifer Ero, were also in court.
Jennifer Ero, Executive Director of the Network, lamented the increasing cases of child defilement and rape across the country and assured that the network will pursue the cases to its logical conclusion.
She urged parents and wards to always report cases of defilement, rape and related offences to relevant authorities, including NGOs.