The Alowa of Ilowa Ijesa, Oba Adebukola Alli, who was docked for allegedly raping a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Miss Helen Okpara who served in the Oba’s domain has been discharged and acquitted by an Osun State High Court.
Helen Okpara, 23, had alleged that she was raped by the monarch who took her to his private residence in Osogbo while serving as a youth corps member at Ilowa town in Obokun Local Government area of Osun State between 2010 and 2011. The monarch was subsequently arrested and arraigned in court.
While delivering the ruling on Tuesday, Justice Oyejide Falola pointed out that Helen failed to tender enough exhibits to convince the court beyond reasonable doubt that she was raped by Oba Alli. The judge stated that Helen failed to show to the court the bruises on her vagina as evidence that she was raped. The judge submitted that a case of rape can only be established with such exhibits.
The judge also noted that Miss Okpara did not establish that she was attacked by the monarch during the process of raping her as she had claimed. Justice Falola, who affirmed that the case of rape must be proved with injuries sustained on the private part and other parts of the body, said the court was not convinced that Miss Helen Okpara sustained any injury on any part of her body.
Justice Falola also pointed out that the court was able to establish that the accused monarch and Miss Okpara had been having sexual relationship before a misunderstanding ensued between them. He also noted that from all evidences before the court, Miss Helen was well known to everybody at both the palace and the private residence of the monarch.
Justice Falola also took a swipe at the police for poor investigation of the matter. The judge berated the police for failing to conduct proper and objective investigations into the matter.
Though Oba Alli was discharged and acquitted, Justice Falola said the monarch degraded royalty by sleeping with a corps member who had come to serve in his domain. He said through his action, Oba Alli took royalty to the dunghill and brought disgrace to both his family and the community he rules.
The judge was also quick to point out that social and moral behaviors are not punishable under the laws of the land, after which he ruled that the monarch should be discharged and acquitted.
While Taofeek Tewogbade, counsel to Oba Alli described the ruling as a judgment that came at the “appointed time”. Femi Adedokun swho represented Miss Okpara as well as the State of Osun gave indications the state government will file an appeal against the High Court’s ruling.