By Oluwasegun Abifarin | Olawale Abideen
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s had on November 25, 2019, during the “Walk to Commit and Act”, commemorating the day in line with United Nations declaration against gender-based violence, promised to wield “the big stick” on perpetrators of rape, domestic violence and child abuse in the state
Apart from the “Walk”, the recent upsurge in the case of rape, gender violence and abuse of minors has sparked off new outrage on the need to tame the ugly scourge. The Police recently put the number of reported rape cases in the last five months at a staggering 717.
But the spiraling controversy surrounding the death of Modupe Olomo (Nee Iluyomade) and the alleged defilement of the minor children she left behind has entered a new bend as fresh facts emerged on what actually transpired between the Lagos Director of Public Prosecution, DPP and the courts that have given rise to an unending accusations and counter- accusations by both parties on the matter.
Modupe’s death on the 3rd of June, 2019 has led to a lot of controversy, suspicion and intrigues before it eventually culminated in a case before Magistrate B.O Osunsanmi in Ogba, Ikeja Magistrate District, Lagos.
Mrs. Elizabeth Iluyomade, a widow and Olomo’s mother-in-law had cried out over what he called the threat to her life over her call for justice over the death of (Modupe), her first daughter and the alleged defilement of her grandchildren.
Iluyomade contended that the children (Fiyinfoluwa 5 and Folakemi 2) had to reside with her after the death of their mother on June 3rd to stave off the post death emotional trauma.
After few days of staying with her, she maintained that she started noticing a strange bowel movement and behavior patterns of the children and decided to carry out medical examination on July 5th 2019 at the General Hospital Isolo.
While this was on, the “war over the custody of the children” began. “My opinion was that since Olomo, my son-in-law is an Uber driver, who will not be available to take care of the children, it will be proper to have custody of the children for now” she said
While the dispute was spiraling, Iluyomade approached the Lagos State Office of Public Defender, OPD, concerning the health of the children, from where she was referred to the Mirabel Center at the Lagos State College of Medicine, LASUTH, Ikeja.
Several tests conducted at Mirabel Center later revealed that the two year old Folakemi had been penetrated severally and serially from her vagina and anus. It was also discovered that the five year old boy Fiyinfoluwa had been penetrated through his anus.
According the report signed by Dr. Jideuche Onyememnam “and his team” on 7th August, 2019, it was discovered that two year old Folakemi had an “apparently nominal female extended genital and there was “a generalized hyperemia of genital mycoses” and “bruises on either sides of vestibule is seen”
The result of Fiyinfoluwa, examined by Dr. Alagbe Oyedeji, on 14th August, 2019, was not less tragic. The team found out that there was a “reduced anal sphmiriteric bone which revealed healed anal bruises globally.”
Oyedeji concluded that the “anal examination findings on client are consistent with repeated forceful, blunt penetration into his anus.”
Armed with the medical report and the video evidence where the boy allegedly confessed that the act was done by their father, the OPD referred the matter to the Gender Unit of the Lagos State Police Command since according to them, “the matter has morphed into a criminal offence in which Olomo, the father of the children is a prime suspect.”
But Olomo’s lawyer, Dele Fadesere in his statement two weeks ago, traced the genesis of the crisis to the 7th day of June, 2019, when Mrs. Iluyomade “called our client and asked him to give her the cloth the deceased was putting on when she had the accident.”
Olomo said he informed elderly people and they told him that he should bury the cloth with the deceased.
Fadesere added that on the second day, Mrs. Iluyomade called to remind Olomo of the deceased dress “and threatened to frustrate him out of this world if the said cloth is not handed over to her,” and that on the 9th day of June, 2019 “our Client went to his mother-in-law’s place to pick his children but she refused to release the children to him demanding the deceased’s cloth.”
The altercation continued until Modupe was buried on the 12th day of June, 2019 and according to Olomo, the children were not allowed to pay the last respect to their mother.
Iluyomade however insists that the case was subjected to a lot of manipulation at the Gender Unit before the Muazu Zubairu, Lagos Commissioner of Police at that time, ordered the IPO at the Gender Unit, Olakunle Orebe to file “an Action right away”.
Eventually, Iluyomade maintained that when the application for Remand Order was heard, Magistrate Osunsanmi granted the suspect bail, according to her, because “there was no sufficient evidence before her to link the suspect to the crime.”
This, according to our investigation was partly traceable to the charge sheet prepare by Sergeant Olakunle Orebe that said “you Olomo did unlawfully sexually assault your children; one Fiyinfoluwa Olomo ‘m’ 5 years and Folakemi Olomo ‘f; 2 years by washing their buttocks after they defecated and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 261 of the criminal law of Lagos state 2015.”
Fadesere however insisted that at no point in time during the meeting of the 6th day of August 2019 had Mrs. Iluyomade mentioned the case of defilement of the children. At this time, the Children had been with her for over Six (6) weeks.
He also maintained that the issue of defilement was never mentioned and if they had been defiled, it would have been Mrs. Iluyomade’s first ground in the letter written to the Office of the Public Defender for the custody of the children.
After a lot of fireworks, Magistrate Osunsami referred the case to the Lagos Director of Public Prosecution, DPP for advice in a letter referenced AR 6100/LS/VOL1, dated 26th August, 2019.
In her reply, dated 17th September, 2019, referenced LJP/MISC/R/2019/299/6, the DPP, Y.G Oshoala submitted that section 137 of the criminal law, Cap C.17, Laws of Lagos State, 2015 states that any person who has sexual intercourse with a child is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life.
He took note of the fact that Mrs. Iluyomade took Folakemi to Isolo General Hospital after observing the girl uncomfortable urinary behavior, after which she also raised the issue with the OPD, which later referred the case to Mirabel center for examination, from it was established that the girl was defiled; and later requested to examine the boy (Fiyinfoluwa) whose medical examination also state that his anus has been penetrated.
On watching the video interview, Oshoala maintained that Fiyinfoluwa “categorically answered that his buttock was not paining him when asked.” The victims in this case, the DPP also argued, have been out of the custody of the defendant (Seun Olomo) for over a month during which they were in the custody of their grandmother (Mrs. Iluyomade). “The medical examinations were conducted during this period as a result, the defendant (Olomo) cannot be directly linked to the offences alleged against him,” the DPP said.
According to him, it has been held that that in order to hold an accused criminally responsible, the chain of causation must not be broken, and once it is broken, that broken link must be resolved in favour of the accused as it affects the actus reus of the offence.
He maintained that the case of the complainant is built on suspicion and “the law is that suspicion, no matter how strong cannot ground a conviction for a criminal offence.”
He concluded that there is no eye witness account, and the defendant (Olomo) has denied the allegations and the allegations could not also be ascertained by the Investigating Police Officer from the investigating report, and he therefore concluded that “the law demand that, irrespective of sentimental and other subjective considerations, we must always step forward, to resolve doubt on the guilt of an accused in favour of the accused.”
In the light of the foregoing, Oshoala submitted that, “this office shall not prosecute Oluwaseun Olomo for the offence of defilement of a child and sexual assault by penetration contrary to sections 137 and 261 of the criminal law, Cap C.17 Laws of Lagos State 2015.”
It was on the basis of the advice from the DPP that on 19th September, 2019 that Magistrate Ososami delivered a “non-prosecution’ for the defendant (Olomo) and that “the defendant is hereby discharged and case struck out.”
But Mrs. Iluyomade still insists that the DPP’s submission remained a sour dish from the temple of justice. According to her, it is very illogical to exonerate Olomo on the basis of the fact that “the chain of causation must not be broken, and once it is broken, that broken link must be resolved in favour of the accused”
“What I expect was that DPP should have directed that the two of us (I and Olomo) should be further investigated since we are “the two suspects” according to the DPP argument, instead of discharging Olomo and releasing the kids to him”, she said last week.
She added that the threat to her has continued and prayed that the Lagos state governor should step into the case, since her petition to the Ministry of Justice had been ignored.
The OPD has also told Iluyomade that they had an order to stop all actions on the case. And shortly after that Mrs. Olayinka Adeyemi, the Director at the OPD who has been handling the case was promoted as the DPP at the Lagos Ministry of Justice to replace Oshoala.
“While I am briefing my lawyers, I am also appealing to Nigerians, especially, the Governor Sanwoolu whom I understand is averse to child molestation and domestic violence, to come to my rescue. There are so many gaps here…and I don’t really know what is happening now,” she said.