A social worker; Mr Ebenezer Omejalile, on Thursday narrated before a court how a teacher, Ramoni Amure, allegedly threatened a minor (name withheld) with a sex tape to repeatedly defile her.
Omejalile testified before an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court.
He was the second prosecution witness in the trial of 42-year-old Amure for defilement and attempts to procure abortion.
The witness, who is also the Coordinator of the Advocates for Children and Vulnerable Persons Network, was led in evidence by Mrs Zainab Dindi.
He said that he was alerted about the 15-year-old’s plight by her cousin (name withheld) who asked him to intervene and alert relevant authorities.
“The survivor was in Oshodi undergoing JAMB lessons.”
“A cousin to the survivor was able to own up to me that the perpetuator had a video in his possession that he used to threaten her whenever he wanted to have sexual intercourse with her.”
“Whenever she declined, he threatened that he would upload the video he recorded online to make her give in to his demand.”
“The survivor explained what she had been going through in the hands of the perpetrator.”
“It took us some time before the survivor gave us the address of the perpetrator because we noticed that she was full of fear because of his threats,” he said.
The witness said that following the allegation that the defendant had a sex tape which he had illegally recorded, his team swung into action.
He said that he went to the Lion Building Police Station on Lagos Island to lodge a complaint, adding that his statement and those of the minor and her mother were obtained by the police.
Omejalile testified that three police officers visited the crime scene (minor’s home).
“He was arrested, and when we got to the Lion Building Police Station, we were not comfortable with the way they handled the case because they did not have a gender unit for survivors.”
“When we could not take it anymore, we cried out to the police spokesman that the case should be taken to the State Police Command, Ikeja, for proper investigation,” he testified.
While being cross-examined by defence counsel, Mr Abel Iwarah, Omejalile said that social workers were informed about the case by one of their mandated reporters.
He, however, refused to provide the reporter’s identity.
“For the records of the court, we protect the identity of our mandated reporters according to the Lagos State Mandated Reporters Procedures.”
“The procedures are found under the Lagos State Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy of 2016 which was signed by former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode,” he said.
The witness told the court that he believed the information given to him by the mandated reporter as true.
He said that he never visited the minor’s home because it was the investigative responsibility of the police.
NAN reports that according to the prosecution, Amure who was the minor’s neighbour, committed the alleged offences between December 2018 and March 2020 at the survivor’s home.
“He defiled the 15-year-old by having sexual intercourse with her.”
“Between March 2020 and July 2020, he illegally gave her a drug called Mifegyne to procure an abortion,” the prosecution said.
The alleged offences contravene Sections 142(1)(2) and 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Justice Rahman Oshodi adjourned the case until October 21 for continuation of trial.