By Joseph Edegbo:
Ogun State High Court sitting in Abeokuta, South West Nigeria has remanded the Director of St. Stephen International School and Children Home, Rev. Isaac Oluwole Newton-Wusu on a five count- charge.
The charges which are under the Ogun State revised Administrative Criminal Justice Law of 2016 range from rape, attempt to commit rape and indecent assault on four female inmates of the school.
The prosecuting counsel, Solomon Maren under the fiat of the Attorney General of Ogun state informed the court that rape and attempt to rape are felony contrary to section 358 and 359 of the criminal code of the state laws.
According to the charge, the accused person sometime in the year 2010 at four different occasions, did rape a 12 year female inmate of the school (name withheld) without her consent.
The court was also informed that the accused person did attempt to rape one
(name withheld) a 14 year old by forcing himself on her to have unlawful carnal knowledge.
The defendant was also accused of indecent assault on two others (names withheld) and forcefully continued to fondle with the breasts and held the duo to himself at different occasions.
The defendant, Isaac Oluwole Newton-Wusu who comprehended the content of the five count- charge, as read by the clerk of the court pleaded not guilty of any of the count charge
In his defence, Counsel to the defendant, Samuel Nwaji sought for application for bail on behalf of his client.
He said the application is in pursuance to section 165,169,170,171 and section 36 (5) of the 1999 constitution.
While pleading that his client should be granted bail on self-recognition and be given 48 hours to perfect the bail conditions, Nwaji pleaded that the bail conditions should however be liberal.
The presiding Judge, Justice Solomon Olugbemi after listening to the argument of both the applicant and defence counsels gave a bail condition of N5 million, with two responsible sureties who must have developed properties with approved building plans
The suretees, the Judge ruled, must have documented evidence of three years tax clearance and be residents within the jurisdiction of the court.
The case has been adjourned to April 4, for further hearing.
The school which was said to have derailed from it vision serving as shelter and educational centre for children who were either orphaned or lost one of the parents to past series of violence in Kaduna, Jos and insurgency in parts of the North suddenly became a school for sexual exploitation.
Some ex-inmates of the school had in 2017 alleged that six of their colleagues lost their lives due to negligence and poor health care by the school management despite funds being donated by charity foundations both home and abroad to the centre.
Sources close to the school shows that it has continuously exploitating the predicament of the inmates to solicit and receive donations from USA, Netherland, Australia, Canada, Poland and Nigerian Churches.