An 18-year-old was on Friday remanded in a correctional centre by an Ebonyi State Magistrates’ Court in Abakaliki for allegedly defiling a 10-year-old minor.
The suspect, Nwafor Jacob, who was alleged to have serially engaged in the act for one week, was also alleged to have had the carnal knowledge of four other minors.
It was gathered that three out of the five victims were siblings and the suspect defiled them between January 19 and January 25, 2020.
The police prosecutor, Sergeant Sebastine Alumona, told the court that Jacob had been in the habit of pouncing on the victims to defile them, while they were asleep.
He was arraigned on one count of unlawful sexual intercourse.
The counsel for the accused, Mr G. N. Ota, applied to the court for his client to be admitted to bail.
The presiding Chief Magistrate, Mrs Nnenna Onuoha, said the court lacked the jurisdiction to adjudicate on the matter.
He directed that the accused be remanded in the Abakaliki correctional centre, while his case file should be transferred to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions for necessary legal advice.
The matter was adjourned till March 27, 2020.
6 thoughts on “Teenager in custody over defilement of five minors”
Bail may not be granted in this case, as this is an offence punishable by more more than 10 years. Also, the matter is above the jurisdiction of the magistrate court
There are certain offences which the magistrate court can try. Rape is a capital crime that carries capital punishment thereby limiting the magistrate powers in trying such an offence.
Yes, the Magistrate court lacks jurisdiction.
Bail is at the discretion of the court- superior courts, irrespective of the offence charged with.
The matter is Defilement of a minor as such, it is within the Jurisdiction of the Magistrate Court to grant bail.
However Bail is at the discretion of the Magistrate, which should be applied judiciously considering the facts of each case.
The magistrate can trial the matter. The suspect is an adult even though a teenager as provided in the constitution and the child right act.
Although the Magistrate’s Court does not have the jurisdiction to try the offence, it however has the power to grant bail as stated by the court in the case of
UKATU V. COMMISSIONER OF POLICE. Also under the relevant ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE LAWS of various states in Nigeria, where an offence is not a capital offence, the Magistrate’s Court may in a remand proceeding grant bail to the accused pending the trial of the accused in the appropriate Court.
In applying this principle of law to this case, the Magistrate’s Court could grant have granted bail to the accused if it deemed it appropriate to do so and not to refuse bail on the grounds that the court has no jurisdiction to try the substantive offence.
Comments are closed.