Court sets free Ojukwu varsity student standing trial for serial rapes

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By Lucy Osuizigbo-Okechukwu

The Children, Sexual and Gender-based Violence Court in Awka, has discharged and acquitted Michael Arinze, 20, accused of raping three young ladies in Awkuzu, Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra state.

Arinze, a 200 level student of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, was arraigned in July 2022, but pleaded not guilty to the eight-count charge of rape and armed robbery.

The offences, the prosecution said, contravened Section 5 of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law of Anambra State 2017 and Section 347 of the Criminal Code Cap 36 Vol. II Revise Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria 1991, as amended.

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The defendant, who has been in custody for 21 months, was alleged to have raped and robbed his victims, two aged 21 and the third, 22 years, of their handsets and money at gunpoint.

The prosecution alleged that the offences were committed on April 5, July 8 and July 15, 2022, respectively.

Delivering judgment, Justice Peace Otti said that the evidence of the witnesses produced by the prosecution were inconsistent.

Otti said further that prosecutory evidence was inconsistent with the defendant’s confessional statement.

“No independent witness testified to corroborate the story of the prosecution, no medical doctor was called as a witness to confirm medical reports and no medical report was also tendered to prove prosecution’s case.

“The Court in criminal cases does not dwell on speculations, but on credible, vital and relevant evidence.

“The guilt of the defendant was not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

“I find the defendant not guilty and the defendant is hereby discharged and acquitted,” she said. (NAN)

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