March 2, 2024

Lagos State v. Shola Ilesanmi: Defendant Discharged after 5 Years Awaiting Trial

Counsel poses with the defendant after the Court’s discharge ruling, 25th January, 2023

STATE OF LAGOS vs. SHOLA ILESANMI (M) ‘Aged 55’ (ID/10928C/2019)

On the 1st May 2018, Shola Ilesanmi was arrested by officers of the Nigerian Police Force, Ogombo Police division headquarters on allegation of defilement. After four days in the police custody he was arraigned before the Magistrate Court on the 7th May, 2018.

Upon arraignment, he was remanded at the Ikoyi correctional facility pending Legal Advice, consequently, the case file was duplicated and forwarded to the Directorate Public Prosecution for advice.

In mid 2019, after carefully considering the facts available in the duplicated case file, the DPP was of the view that, there are sufficient facts to establish a prima facie case of defilement against the defendant. Therefore, the duplicated case file was retained to enable the DPP file the necessary court processes at the High Court.

Thereafter, the wife of the defendant approached our office help desk for legal assistance (counseling, advisory, and representation). The office made all necessary enquires and carried out adequate preliminary investigations to ensure the case of the the defendant falls within our Pro Bono policy, thereafter swinged into action.

On the 19th August 2019, the DPP filed an Information at the High Court against the defendant hence, he was arraigned on one count charge of defilement contrary to section 137 of the Criminal Law, Cap C.17 Vol. 3. Laws of Lagos State, 2015, before Hon. Justice S. Nwaka now Justice of the Court of Appeal.

Since then, the defendant has been awaiting trial all through covid-19 and Endsars saga without progress until milord was elevated.

Subsequently, the defendant was re-arraigned before Hon. Justice Oshodi in, 2021, and till date trial has been aborted on several occasions due to the absence of the prosecution witnesses.

Pursuant to our application dated and filed on the 11th January, 2023, the court delivered a bench ruling today the 25th January, 2023, while the sole issue for determination was considered in favour of the defendant and the defendant is hereby discharged accordingly.

The sum of ₦5,000 was given to Mr. Shola Ilesanmi as transportation fare back to his home.

All praises to Allah for this success and many thanks to Deacon Eric Igbrude (RCCG, Ogidan, Sangotedo) for the logistics and Granith Solicitors for the opportunity.

Lukman O. Jaiyeola, Esq.
25th January, 2023.

Source: Facebook


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