The 24-year old woman who was allegedly drugged at a nightclub and gang-raped by two friends at a hotel, has written a letter seeking withdrawal of the criminal suit filed against the suspects Don-Chima George and Olusegun Rasak (DJ Ricco).
The woman, according to Punch, made the request for withdrawal of the case during proceedings at an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court on Thursday, via a “Letter of Withdrawal” dated June 3, 2019.
The letter was addressed to the Director of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), and signed by the complainant.
The complainant, in the letter said she’s seeking to withdraw the case due to “intervention of family members” and for the sake of her integrity.
Last month, the complainant testified in court, recalling how the suspects allegedly forcefully had sex with her, while she was in a semi-conscious state.
She had shared in court:
My next recollection after passing out as being in a state that I wasn’t in ordinarily. I felt drunk but I knew I wasn’t because I did not drink enough to make me drunk. I felt weak and I could feel hands grabbing me and I could also hear a voice in the room which I knew to be Chima’s voice and I felt Segun on top of me having sex with me. I felt his (Segun) dreadlocks on my body because he had dreadlocks. I remember trying to push him off as he was touching me. He was touching my breasts and I could feel another pair of hands on my thighs.
I blacked out and came up again a second time and I could feel somebody fingering me. I knew I heard Chima’s voice and I couldn’t recall what he was saying, and I felt myself being penetrated again. I tried my best to say no. I believe it was Chima who penetrated me again. I believe it was Chima because I heard him asking if I was awake after all of that; I blacked out again, and at that point, I knew both of them had had sex with me.
She added that her friends, who went with her to the police station to report the case have been victimised by the families of the defendants.
Prosecutor, Akin George, a Deputy-Director in the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) in Lagos State, however, opposed the complainant’s request. George said:
“We do not have a directive from the office of the Attorney-General (AG). My lord, the Honourable AG is the complainant in this case. In every criminal matter, victims are naturally witnesses and as we speak, there is no AG in office due to the change in power. We are also aware of the rules of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) which states that even the Court of Appeal cannot stay an ongoing proceeding.
Our office initiated this action in court and there has to be a closure one way or the other. My lord, we have submitted issues for the respective decisions of this court. We will bring the witness to state her position before the court, while we continue proceedings and await directives from the AG’s office.
Defence counsel, Tunji Ayanlaja (SAN) who shared the views of the prosecution that the State originated the suit, disagreed that the absence of the AG had created a vacuum. Ayanlaja said:
The constitution is so clear that when we do not have an AG in office, the Solicitor-General takes over the function of the AG. My lord, we are ready to proceed.
The unfortunate thing is that the defendants have been in prison ever since. The complainant, who is their (prosecution) witness, has developed cold feet for one reason or the other; this development is replete in the letter by the complainant.
To meet the end of justice, I apply that your lordship should consider releasing the defendants on bail.
At the end of the day, no compensation will be paid to them. They are young men who have languished in jail for four or five months.
Justice Abiola Soladoye said that the court will continue with the proceedings and directed that the suspects remain in custody.
Justice Soladoye adjourned the case to June 18 for continuation of trial.