Sexual Abuse: Femi Olaleye Absent as Trial Begins

INSIDEMAINLAND – The arraignment of the medical doctor of Optimal Cancer Care Foundation, Dr Olufemi Olaleye, before an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, over alleged defilement of his wife’s 15-year-old niece, was on Monday stalled due to his absence.

INSIDEMAINLAND gathered that when the matter was called, the prosecuting counsel, Oluwagbenga Alagbe, told the court that the prosecution had done the needful in a letter dated November 18, that was sent to the defendant and the Investigating Police Officer to notify all parties of the defendant’s arraignment.

Alagbe said a letter sent to the defendant was duly acknowledged, adding that it could be regarded as Exhibit A.

“We equally sent a letter to the complainant and the Investigating Police Officer, but unfortunately the defendant is not here. In view of the circumstance, we shall be asking for a bench warrant against the defendant,” he said.

In his response, the defendant’s counsel, Babatunde Ogala SAN, representing Olusegun Fabunmi SAN, stated that the defendant was out of town and had not been served with the information contained in the charge.

Ogala said, “The defendant is out of town and has not been served. What the law says is that we should be given a clear three days to be served but that was not done. It is true a letter was also sent to Mr. Fabunmi.”

In response to Alagbe’s argument, Ogala stated, “So asking for a bench warrant for a man who has neither jumped bail nor refused to appear is not running anywhere; if he was in Lagos, he would be here.” We request a date for arraignment. We are here on his behalf even when there is no service.

“My lord, we got to know of today’s arraignment through a letter sent to the office of the defendant. It is out of respect for the court that we appear to represent our client who has not been served.

“As at the time the letter was sent to his office, he was out of town. How can somebody that doesn’t know what he is being charged for appear before the court.”

The defence counsel also informed the court that he intended to serve the prosecution with a summons for bail, but Alagbe did not respond to the summons.

However, when Justice Ramon Oshodi asked the lead defence counsel if he could receive service in court, Ogala responded that they would because they were in court.

After confirming service in court, Ogala requested an adjournment so that the defendant could appear for his arraignment.

As a result, Justice Oshodi adjourned the case until November 30 to allow the defendant to enter his plea.

Following the proceedings, a minor scuffle erupted when one of the defence attorneys, Fabunmi, allegedly harassed journalists for taking video outside the courtroom.

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