From Timothy Agbor/OSOGBO
An Osun State High Court presided over by Justice Oyedije Falola on Tuesday discharged and acquitted the Alowa of Ilowa-Ijesa in Obokun Local Government Area of the state, Oba Adebukola Alli, in the case of rape pressed against him by a 23-year-old ex-corps member, Miss Hellen Okpara even as the court chided the traditional ruler for dragging the traditional institution into mud through the ugly incident.
Justice Falola also tongue-lashed the police for failing to conduct proper and convincing investigations into the matter which left the court with no choice than to free the monarch in the almost three year old case instituted by Okpara.
To this end, counsel to the state government, Mr. Femi Adedokun who also represented the ex-corps member while reacting to the court judgment disclosed that the state government would upon advice by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, appeal against the court judgment.
Okpara had alleged that the monarch raped her at his private residence located at Rasco area in Osogbo adding that the traditional ruler left bruises on her private part while trying to penetrate her.
Recall that the case had suffered series of adjournment at both the magistrate and high courts before it was eventually determined on Tuesday.
Delivering his ruling, Justice Falola said Miss Okpara failed to tender enough exhibits to convince the court beyond reasonable doubt that she was raped by Oba Alli.
He submitted that a case of rape can only be established with exhibits which include the used bed sheet, the victim’s pants and medical report which indicates forceful penetration, adding that the prosecutor failed to tender all these.
While citing the case of Corporal Nicholas versus the Nigerian Army, Justice Falola in his over one hour judgment stated that there was no claim that the ex-corps member was attacked by the monarch during the process of raping her as she had claimed.
Justice Falola, who said Miss Okpara failed to show to the court the bruises on her vaginal as evidence that she was raped, noted that the prosecutor also failed to show to the court her torn clothes as she had claimed in her submissions before the court.
Saying that the case of rape must be proved with injuries sustained on the private part and other parts of the body, Justice Falola said the court was not convinced that Miss Okpara sustained any injury on any part of her body.
He said the court was able to establish that both the monarch and the prosecutor had been having sexual relationship before a misunderstanding ensued between them, adding that from all evidences before the court, Miss Okpara was well know to everybody at both the palace and the private residence of the monarch.
He blamed the police for poor investigation of the matter, stressing that the police failed to conduct proper and objective investigations into the matter.
Also, Justice Falola expressed displeasure on the attitude of the traditional ruler, saying that he had denigrated royalty by sleeping with a corps member serving in his domain.
According to him, the monarch had through his action taken royalty into the dunghill and brought disgrace to both his family and the community he rules.
However, Falola noted that social and moral behaviors are not punishable under the laws of the land, and thereby declared that the monarch should be discharged and acquitted.