A 50-year-old man, Abdullahi Yusuf, on Wednesday appeared before a Jos Upper Area Court, sitting at Kasuwan Nama, charged with allegedly luring to his room and raping a 9-year-old girl. But he denied it, saying he only viciously fingered her.
The accused, a resident of Lasisi Street, Laranto, Jos first appeared on May 6, specifically accused of rape. The police prosecutor, Mr E. A. Inegbenoise, during the arraignment, told the court that the victims’ father reported the matter at the Laranto police station, on March 17.
Inegbenoise alleged that the accused person lured the minor into his room and had carnal knowledge of her. Rape “The cat was let out of the bag when the victim could not walk properly for days and, upon interrogation, told her mother that the accused raped her and showed bruises she sustained in the process,” he stated.
Inegbenoise alleged that the accused, in a confessional statement, owned up to the crime, but claimed that he did not penetrate her. “The accused claimed that he only `viciously fingered’ her,” the prosecutor alleged.
During the arraignment, however, the accused denied the allegation and was granted bail by the judge, Mr. Mustapha Yahaya, after his Counsel, Mr. David Adudu, prayed for it. Adudu, in his prayer, cited section 36(1) of the 1999 constitution which stated that an accused person was innocent until proven otherwise. He said that if the bail was granted, his client would not jump bail and would never interfere with police investigation.
The prosecutor, however, objected to the bail, and expressed the fear that the accused person would jump bail. He explained that the offence was not bailable unless in special circumstances and in the interest of justice, and urged the court to reject the plea.
The judge, after listening to both parties, admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N50,000 . He ordered the accused to produce one surety who must be a guardian of the accused or a ward head residing within the jurisdiction of the court. The matter was adjourned until July 21, for further hearing.