A 24-year-old man, Matthew Edide, a factory worker was arrested by the police for allegedly raping a seven-year-old girl at Adeleye Street, Ojo, Lagos State.
Edide who is an indigene of Delta State had tricked the youngster into his room by sending her on an errand around 7.30pm on the day of the incident.
Upon her return, he allegedly forced himself on her and raped her.
After satisfying his sexual urge, the suspect threatened to kill his victim if she told anyone about what happened between them.
However, the next day in school, the seven-year-old started bleeding in school which got the attention of the school authorities.
Her father, who was away at work, was said to have been called by the school authorities.
He reportedly took her home and called a family nurse who made the pupil opened up.
The suspect was arrested and brought before an Ebute Meta Chief Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, August 6, 2014 on one count of rape.
The charge reads, “That you, Matthew Edide, on June 27, 2014, at about 7.30pm at Adeleye Street, Ojo, Lagos in the Lagos Magisterial District, did have sexual intercourse with one (name withheld), aged seven years.”
The police prosecutor, DSP Etim Nkankuk, said the offence was punishable under Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.
The defendant pleaded not guilty and elected summary trial.
His defence counsel, Ali Abba, applied for his bail in liberal terms, saying Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution declares the suspect innocent until proven otherwise.
Inspector Monday Ebuzome, of the Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, and the father of the victim were present in court for the trial.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. A.A. Demi-Ajayi, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N500, 000 with two responsible sureties in like sum.
She added, “The sureties must be gainfully employed and resident in Lagos; must be at least 40 years of age; one of them must be a blood relation of the defendant. Each of the sureties must deposit the sum of N50, 000 into the designable account of the Chief Registrar of the state’s High Court. They must prove substantially their address identity and means of livelihood. They should also present a sworn affidavit of means and their addresses should be verified by the police.”
The case was adjourned till September 24, 2014 for legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.