An alumnus of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), John Otema,who is standing trial for having unlawful sexual intercourse with students of the institution has denied voluntarily making parts of his purported confessional statement to the police.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that counsel to Otema, Mr Fred Onyeka, contested the statement being tendered in evidence at the resumed hearing of the case at the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court.
Onyeka said an addendum of six lines, where his client admitted to having unlawful sexual intercourse with Student Y (name withheld) in his statement did not emanate voluntarily from him.
The defence counsel said that Otema was coerced to write that he voluntarily wrote the contents and was not beaten prior to writing the statement.
“I am objecting on the ground that the last six lines of this statement were made on a different date from the first date which was February 8, 2018.
“Those six lines were obtained through torture of the defendant. It was obtained involuntarily my Lord; he was forced to make those confessions.
“It is a flagrant violation of Section 34(1) (a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended,” Onyeka said.
Asking the court to look at the proof of evidence, the defence counsel, requested that the court order a trial-within-trial to ascertain the voluntariness or otherwise of Otema’s alleged confessional statement.
Responding, the lead state prosecutor, Mr. Akin George, urged the court to allow the prosecution to bring in relevant witnesses to prove the voluntariness of the confessional statements.
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