By Joshua Chibuzo Andrew, Owerri
A Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Owerri, Imo State and presided over by His Worship Obinna Njemanze on Thursday, August 17 remanded a 30 year old Prophet, Emeka Michael for allegedly having carnal knowledge of a 12-year-old girl.
The girl was in his house on holiday when he allegedly violated her.
The Chief Magistrate declined jurisdiction to hear the matter, but relied on Section 89 (b) of the Imo State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2020 to entertain oral bail application by the defence counsel, J. S Nwankwo.
Counsel for the state, Mrs. Nkechi Iwuoha opposed the bail application citing the nature of the offence.
She 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 Centre Owerri.
It thereafter adjourned the matter to 5th October 2023 for 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 who hails from Anambra State was on holiday in the house of the accused at Naze in Owerri North LGA of Imo State when the incident reportedly happened.
The girl escaped from the accused’s house after being sexually abused, and was rescued and taken to the police by a good Nigerian through an Owerri based radio station.
The attention of FIDA Imo Chairperson, His Worship Joy Nwosu-Azuama was drawn to the girl’s plight.
The Chairperson and her executive members immediately swung into action to ensure justice for the little girl.