Cobbler retracts confessional statement on rape charge

Must read

A 42-year-old cobbler, Chinyere Onyeabor, on Friday in an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, retracted his confessional statement in which he admitted defiling a nine-year-old girl in his shop.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Onyeabor made the retraction during a trial-within-trial to ascertain the involuntariness of the statement he allegedly made to the police.

The defendant, who was led in evidence by his lawyer, V.A. Dike, said he was on June 4, 2014 arrested by police in his shop and was taken to Rail-house Police Station at Iju-Ishaga, Lagos over an offence he did not commit.

“I was asked to remove my belt, shoes, pant and phones. I asked the police what did I do and they said that I raped a girl and I started crying.

“The next day I was taken to Panti, and the Investigative Police Officer (IPO) called me into a room and asked me to write a statement.

“While he was questioning me, I said I could not write the statement. I was not the one who wrote the statement,” Onyeabor said.

Reacting to his denial, the lead state prosecutor, Mr Babajide Boye told the court that the defendant had clearly denied he wrote the statement.

“My lord, the purpose of the trial-within-trial is to test the involuntariness of the statement. He has not denied that he made a statement. We are surprised that the defendant is now denying that he ever made a statement”, he said.

Justice Sybil Nwaka, however, said: “the defendant has retracted the statement and he cannot be cross-examined. I need to give a ruling to determine the way forward”.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nwaka went ahead to adjourn the matter until Feb.19

Earlier, the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Insp. Muritala Bakare averred that he had investigated the alleged crime.

He said: “as at June 2014, I was serving at the Human Trafficking Section of the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Panti, Lagos.

“On June 4, 2014, a case of defilement against Onyeabo was transferred from the Iju Division to the State CID, Panti, Lagos. I obtained the statements of the survivor, her mother while the accused wrote his statement by himself.

“The victim alleged that on June 4, 2014 when she returned from school, she went to the defendant’s shop to repair her shoe.

“He has lured her to come into his shop by saying the sun was hot, and the girl entered, he closed the door of the shop and had unlawful carnal knowledge of her,” Bakare said.

The policeman said that the cobbler in his statement, admitted committing the offence and pleaded for forgiveness during the investigation.

While being cross-examining Bakare insisted that the defendant’s statement was obtained voluntarily.

Bakare told the court that he obtained the statement in a conducive environment within the Statement Office of Force CID Panti in the presence of another police officer.

“We the policemen were unarmed, his statement was read to him and he signed it. He made the statement without any form of intimidation or under duress”, Bakare said.

NAN reports that the prosecution said that the alleged offence was committed contrary to Section 137 of the Criminal Law of 2011 which carries a life sentence upon conviction.

Copyright DAYBREAK.

All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from DAYBREAK NEWS.

More articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest article