Mr Lawal Pedro, the defence counsel to James Aguedo, one of the students charged with gang-raping a student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has appealed to an Ikeja Domestic Violence and Special Offences Court to grant the student bail to write his examinations.
Aguedo 20, a student of Babcock University is standing trial alongside Moboluwaji Omowole, 19, Chuka Chukwu, 19, Peace Nwankama, 19 and Osemeka Josephine, 20.
The defendants are alleged to be among some students involved in the serial gang-rape of a UNILAG student (name withheld) which occurred sometime in 2017 within the premises of the institution.
Pedro, in his appeal to the court, requested that Aguedo is granted bail to enable him to write his examinations which are scheduled in April.
“By April, he is to start his examination in Babcock University and we urge Your Lordship to give him another lease of life to continue his education which the institution (Babcock University) is already aware of.
“We urge Your Lord to exercise discretion on the most compassionate grounds and grant the defendant bail for him to take part in his exams,” Pedro said.
Earlier, the SAN while addressing the court also noted that Aguedo had health problems and that was charged with a misdemeanour and was liable to bail.
“The defendant is suffering from ill health, he has a recurring back ailment. We brought not just a medical report, but the history because he has been attending the orthopaedic hospital.
“The prison facilities are not conducive for him,” the SAN said.
Responding, the lead state prosecutor, Mrs Fehinti Ogbemudia told the court that the defendant’s request for bail should be denied.
“The prosecution submits that the application for bail lacks merit and should be refused,” Ogbemudia said.
Following the submissions of the counsel, Justice Abiola Soladoye adjourned the case until April 18 for ruling on Aguedo’s bail application.
Aguedo and his four co-defendants are facing a three-count charge of defilement of a child, permitting the defilement of a child in a premise and procuration.
The defendants denied the charges.
The complainant had on Feb. 26 testified that she was lured by Nwankama, who was her roommate to High Rise, a staff quarters hostel at UNILAG.
She said she was gang-raped at High Rise by eight students and the sexual assault was videotaped.
According to the complainant, 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 languishing at the Kirikiri Prisons since Feb. 26 which was the day they were arraigned for the alleged offences.