Defiled 8-Year-Old Girl Dies While Trial Of Suspect Is Ongoing

An 8-year-old girl allegedly defiled by a man identified as Lekan Tunji, died on Monday, July 10, while the suspect’s trial is still ongoing in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The charge sheet revealed that the suspect committed the offence on June 27, 2022, at Lagbua Village, Kemta Housing Estate, Idi-aba, Abeokuta.

It was alleged that after defiling the girl, he inserted a blackish substance into the girl’s private part with his finger.

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The charge sheet read, “That you LEKAN OYEDELE TUNJI (M) on or about the 27th day of June 2002 at 05:30 pm at Lagbua Village, Kemta Housing Estate, Idi-aba, in the Abeokuta Magisterial District Sexually Exploited one (name withheld) eight (8)-year old girl by inserting a blackish substance into her vagina with your finger and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 33 of the Child Rights Law, Laws of Ogun State, 2006.”

Tunji had pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail by the Magistrate in charge of the case, Mrs Idowu.

At the resumed trial on Thursday, July 13, where it was expected that the defendant’s counsel will open up defence, the court was informed that the minor is dead.

The defence counsel, T A Akinsola’s plea for the court to adjourn the matter in view of the recent development, was not opposed by the prosecuting counsel.

Magistrate Mrs E.O Idowu, therefore, adjourned the matter till August 3 for the opening of defence.

Confirming the minor’s death, the complainant, Barrister Adedamola Lapite, who is also the Executive Director, Spring Centre, a sexual assault referral centre in Ogun state, told newsmen after the adjournment that the girl died while she was preparing for school on Monday. She had dressed up for school, but dropped dead after she was told to go and pick up her water bottle.

Lapite noted that her death won’t affect the suspect’s trial as the prosecuting counsel opened and closed the case before her demise.

He said, “The next line of action is for the defence to open their case except we are able to link her death to his (suspect) actions. She already gave evidence. She is not a party parse when it comes to law. If you look at the case, it’s State or Commissioner of Police vs Defendant. So, the case will still go on even if she is not there.”