Five-Minute Pleasure: Fastest Way to Life Imprisonment


Funke Olaode

Looking polished and unruffled in his dark green ‘Atiku’ dress as he was being led to the court that sunny afternoon, the presiding Bishop of I Reign Christian Ministry, Oluwafeyiropo Daniels, was the latest culprit in the case of sexual assault involving two women in his church.

Evidence from the prosecution team led by Mr Babajide Boye that the convict raped his assistant pastor in his home in Ikota Villa Estate sometime in June 2020.

He also said the convict sexually assaulted one of his church members by forcefully sucking and touching her breast without her consent, sometimes in April 2021 at the church office in Ikeja. The offences contravened Section 260 (2) and 263 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

In the end, the axe of law fell on the embattled cleric as Justice Rahman Oshodi read out the judgment of life imprisonment. Looking remorseful, the die was cast. He was led in handcuffs and whisked away to begin his journey of life in eternal confinement.

This is just one of the sexual assaults involving clergies, with justice being served without reservations. Daily, women, children and vulnerable girls are being molested. The menace of defilement and rape increases every day despite attendant heavy penalties. What measures can be put in place to curb this animalistic act? And now that more and more religious leaders are caught in the act, what should Christian bodies do?

In an exclusive chat with THISDAY, legal practitioner and women and child rights advocate Toyin Ndidi Taiwo-Ojo said handing immediate judgment like Bishop Daniel is another win for sexual and rape survivors. Taiwo-Ojo said, “It is a judgment that will restore faith primarily in the church and not only the church and the society.  We have seen men of God committing this crime over and over again. And we have seen the very institutions which are supposed to expose these crimes covering it up.

“With such judgment, even though it may tarry, justice will eventually prevail. With this judgement, morality and the truth, which form the basis of society, are protected by the judiciary. I have also seen the promiscuous and pervasive attitude of some clerics to take advantage and influence their position over the vulnerable; this judgment has actually mitigated and exposed this pervasive influence. It has also saved the vulnerable, the survivors who have been brutalised, who have been victimised and traumatised by men of the church that they have a voice and when they talk, society will listen.”

Anthonia Ojenagbon, Executive Director of Tonia Bruised But Not Broken Rape Survivors Foundation, said when victims get justice, it is a stern warning to those who believe they can manipulate vulnerable girls and women in the name of God, that survivors will get justice and that they will find themselves in a place where they wont be able to escape one day.

How can this menace be tamed?

“People need to pay for bad behaviours. The menace has refused to fade away or reduce in society because the culprits believe they can just rape or molest their victims and go scot-free,” said Ojenagbon.

The rights advocate commended the Lagos government for its effort in institutionalising criminal law that stands against any form of gender-based violence.

“If we have more states like Lagos state, I think it will be curbed. It is an offence that in Lagos, ‘that five minutes pleasure’ will send you to jail. Sexual violence, sexual abuse, sexual assault, and incest are all big deals. They are not family matters,” Ojenagbon explained. “They are not issues that can be settled. They are criminal matters; they are offences punishable under the law. We need more enlightenment in our religious organizations, the churches, the mosques. We need to sensitise our religious leaders; they need to understand that it is actually a crime against humanity because it affects the soul.”

Ojenagbon added, “Our religious organisations actually have a strong hold on the people, and we have to involve them more in this act of dehumanisation against women and girl-child. They need to start to speak from their pulpits that it is a ‘sin’ to molest women or girl-child without their consent forcefully. You know, sometimes, when it happens because of shame, they try to cover it up because of stigma. If they continue to cover it up, the perpetrators will continue because they know that they are ‘covered’, especially by their wives.

“If you live in a state like Lagos state under the Criminal Law of 2015 section 260, For you to rape or defile anybody is a criminal offence, and the penalty is life imprisonment. So, if more people are prosecuted, it will serve as a detriment to other people.”

Legal Battle on Ojukwu’s Property Resumes, As Bianca’s Sons Seek to Join Suit

Wale Igbintade

The legal battle over the control of landed property belonging to Ojukwu Transport Limited OTL, founded by Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu, has resumed as family members are back in court.

This is in spite of two separate judgements delivered by Justice Adedayo Oyebanji (Mrs.), and Justice A.M Lawal both of the Lagos High Court on the disputed property.

Based on Justice Oyebanji’s judgment in suit number LD/794/2011, delivered on June 1, 2018, Ojukwu Transport Limited executed a warrant of possession on all its properties in Lagos with Form O, Certificate of completion of execution obtained in July 2022.

Defendants in the suit are Ojukwu Transport Limited, Professor Joseph O. Ojukwu, Engineer Emmanuel N. Ojukwu, Lotanna Ojukwu, and Massey Udegbe (T/A Massey Udegbe & Co.)

Meanwhile, Afamefuna and Nwachukwu, sons of Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu, wife of late Biafra leader, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu have applied to be joined as parties in the 2011 suit filed by Ogbonna Ojukwu and others against the Ojukwu Transport Limited, OTL, and others in which judgment had been delivered in 2018.

They based their application on the ground that another Lagos High Court had in a judgment in 2022 on a 2012 case marked LD/1539/2012 which they filed against OTL and others, granted them possession of 29 Oyinkan Abayomi Drive, Ikoyi and four other properties.

Justice A. M. Lawal, in the 2022 judgment, granted a restraining order against interference with Afamefuna and Nwachukwu’s possession of the properties pending the harmonisation of Ojukwu properties by OTL.

Claiming to be unaware of the matter before Justice Oyebanji, Afamefuna and Nwachukwu last year served a ‘Notice of Disobedience of Court order’ on OTL, the Ojukwu and other tenants of the property.

In their application to be joined, Bianca’s sons argued that it would amount to a miscarriage of justice for the matter to be conclusively decided without their input as the issues in the case affect their interests.

Having listed properties under dispute, they stated that it would be in the interest of justice to grant the application and join the Applicants to enable them to bring the necessary application before the court.

At the resumed hearing for the fresh application for the joinder on April 22, 2024, OTL Director, Dr. P Ike Ojukwu, their agent, Mr. Massey Udegbe and lawyer, Chief Ifeanyi Okumah were in court while Bianca, her sons and their lawyers were absent. The case was adjourned till May 20, 2024 for hearing.

Ikorodu Kingship Tussle: Appeal Court Fixes Sept 19 for hearing

Wale Igbintade

The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, has fixed Thursday, September 19, for hearing the appeal challenging the installation of Kabiru Adewale Shotobi as the Oba Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Lagos.

The appellate court presided over by Justice Muhammed Mustapha fixed the appeal for hearing after granting two applications moved by counsel to the appellants, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede SAN to enable proper hearing of the appeal.

Other members of the three-member panel are Justice Abdullahi Mahmud Bayero and Justice Paul Bassi.

When the matter came up on Monday, Jegede moved the application dated March 25, 2024, and urged the court to strike out the names of the sixth appellant and the 1st respondent, respectively.

The lawyer to the Respondents, Mr Olusegun Fabunmi SAN, did not oppose the application.

Consequently, Justice Muhammed Mustapha struck out the names and adjourned the appeal for hearing.

Justice M. A. Savage of the High Court of Lagos State had ratified Kabiru Adewale Shotobi as the Oba Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Lagos, in his judgment.

Dissatisfied, the appellants (Lambo branch of Lasunwon ruling house) are challenging the installation of Mr. Kabiru Adewale Shotobi as the Oba Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Lagos, and prayed the court to set aside the lower court’s judgement.

The appellants/applicants are Mr. Matthew Shodipo, Omobo Sokelu, Shakiru Shodipo, Mr. Nurudeen Fakomaya and Mr. Albert Ania.

The family is praying that the court will allow the appeal and set aside the lower court’s judgment.

In their Notice of Appeal, the appellants stated that the trial judge erred in law in holding that the third to sixth respondents were not parties to Suit No (KD/57/2007) and, therefore, not bound by the decision.

They urged the court to hold that the 3rd-6th respondents are kingmakers of Ikorodu and privies to Mr. Z.O Aro in Exhibit A who was sued on behalf of the kingmakers.

Besides, appellants stated that the trial judge erred in law in holding that clause 2 of the consent judgment in suit No IKD 57/2007 did not preclude the Adegorushe branch from presenting a candidate nor preclude the second respondent from being nominated as candidate for the vacant Ayangbure title of Ikorodu.

The appellants argued that the trial judge misdirected himself in law and reached the wrong conclusion that the obas and chief laws are paramount and that all the reliefs sought in the originating motion must fail, noting that “the interpretation by the honourable court took away cause of action and as brought by the applicants and extended it beyond the reliefs sought by the applicants into the response sought by the respondents.”

No Remand Warrant of Convict, Dada Aigbe, Correctional Officer Tells Court

Funke Olaode

Rhe representative of the Controller of Correctional Centre, Lagos command, Mr. Rotimi Oladokun, told Justice Akintunde Salvage of the Ikeja Division of the Lagos High Court yesterday that the command did not receive the committal warrant of the Chairman of Confidence Cargo Freight Forwarder, Dada Aigbe.

Oladokun, a prison official from the Legal Unit serving at the State Command Headquarters of Nigeria Correctional Services (NCoS) Alagbon, Ikoyi, told the court that the five Correctional Centers in Lagos, including Kirikiri Maximum or Medium, have no record or remand warrant of a convict, Aigbe, in their files.

He said he was in court sequel to the subpoena testicandum served on the controller of the correctional centre, Lagos command, on the court’s order.

It would be recalled that Justice Salvage had, on March 11, ordered that Aigbe be committed to prison for one month until he purges himself of contempt.

The judge ordered was sequel to disobedience of Aigbe to appear in court after form 48 and 49 contempt proceeding was filed against him in a suit filed by the Mr. Maruf Jimoh-Akogun, counsel to judgment creditor.

Jimoh-Akogun had in a suit marked in ID/3831LMW/2016 instituted by the HRM Oba Shakirudeen Adeshina Kuti for themselves and on behalf of the Ajamogun/Onikotun family of Ewu kingdom against the Osolo of Osolo, HRM, Oba Agbabiaka Kabir Orisedeko Elemo and the Baale Mafoluku Ajao Estate, Chief Hussam Raheem Shekoni Elemo as the first and second defendants respectively.

However, Oladokun in his testimony told the court that he joined the Correctional Center in 2012 and was serving at the state command.

“As a directive of the command, I was brief about the matter. From our record, the command did not receive a committal or remand warrant. We have verified from our internal communication, there was no record of Dada Aigbe.”

Meanwhile, judgment debtors defendants/respondents counsel, Mr K. U Okoro had filed an application dated April 29, in pursuant to Section 60b (36) and Section 94 of the Sheriff Law.

The motion seeks relief as follows: an order setting aside the entire committal proceedings on the ground that an unknown sheriff served it and such further order. The ground of the same notice is that it was not served on the applicant.

The judge held that he had read the objection and counter, and if he was not convinced that it was served, he wouldn’t issue the conviction.

Okoro argued that “We are also saying that the court did not have jurisdiction to give the order. We urged the court to set aside the order and to rule in our favour and grant our relief.”

Jimoh-Akogun in his response opposed the preliminary objection, said they have filed a counter affidavit to their objections.

He told court that the reason for Aigbe’s committal to prison is the complaint that he involved himself in a land matter that he is not a party to.

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