A 30-year-old cleric, Emeka Michael was remanded on Friday in a correctional centre by a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Owerri, Imo State for allegedly defiling a 12-year-old girl who was in his house on holidays.
The Chief Magistrate, Obinna Njemanze, declined jurisdiction to hear the matter but relied on Section 89 (b) of the Imo State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2020 to entertain the oral bail application by the defence counsel, J. S Nwankwo Esq.
Counsel for the State, Nkechi Iwuoha opposed the bail application citing the nature of the offence and pointed out that the defence counsel did not state any special circumstances or compelling reason to warrant the grant of bail to the accused.
The Court in its ruling, refused the bail application and ordered that the accused be remanded at the Correctional Center Owerri and adjourned the matter to October 5, 2023, for the Director of Public Prosecutions’ report.
The International Federation of Women Lawyers FIDA Nigeria, Imo State Branch was represented in the matter by the Vice Chairperson, Mrs Phil Amaefule, the Secretary, Mrs Chinyere Iwunna, and the Financial Secretary, Mrs Nancy Nwabia.
The victim, a 12-year-old girl and the six-year-old brother hail from Anambra State, but were on holiday in the house of the accused at Naze in Owerri North LGA of Imo State.
The girl escaped from the accused’s house after being s3xually abused and was rescued and taken to the Police by a good samaritan through an Owerri-based radio station.
The attention of FIDA Imo Chairperson, Joy Nwosu-Azuama was drawn to the poor girl’s plight.
The Chairperson and her proactive EXCO members immediately swung into action to ensure justice for the little girl.