Two siblings, Miss Judith Ivie Okosun and Juliet Obehi Okosun, have been convicted for humiliating and imprisoning Dr. Peter Otubu, a lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Electronic of the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Edo State.
Chief Magistrate Maltina Iluobe of Ekpoma Chief Magistrate court, Esan West Local Government Area, who last weekend delivered judgement in the case marked MEK/18C/2012, which began eight years ago, sentenced the two former students who had since graduated from the institution, to two years imprisonment, for unlawful detention and indecent assault on Dr. Otubu.
The court recalled that Juliet Obehi Okosun (second accused person) had admitted in her evidence before the court that she had the key to the apartment where (first accused person), Judith Ivie Okosun, unlawfully assaulted Dr. Otubu who was held hostage and stripped naked at thier one room apartment in a private female hostel close the University on July 17, 2010.
They were also said to have made Dr. Otubu to issue the sum of N100, 000. 00 (One Hundred Naira) cheque in favour of Judith Ivie Okosun.
The court specifically established that in the recorded video clips which was also posted on the internet by one Ozeigbe, now at large, the second accused person had told the court that she was in possession of the key to thier apartment where Dr. Peter Otubu was held hostage, making her liable for conviction of unlawful detention of the lecturer.
Chief Magistrate Iluobe, however, discharged and acquitted Judith Ivie Okosun (24) and Juliet Obehi Okosun (22), who were both undergraduate students at AAU at the time they were charged to court on counts 1, 5, and 6 which bothered on conspiracy and stealing and frivolous petition against Dr. Peter Otubu, following the failure of the prosecution to prove to the allegations.
It also discharged and acquitted the 3rd to 7th accused persons, Esther Ogbeide (21), Samson Ogbeide (32), Igbudu Samuel (42), Ojeabulu Eghosa Clement (37) and Aruya Ohis Williams (24) for lack of substantial evidence against them.
According to the court, the failure of Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN), to provide calls log of conversations between the first Principal Witness (Dr. Peter Iluobe) and some of the accused persons as required by the prosecution, was injurious to the case.
Chief Magistrate Iluobe however tongue-lashed Otubu whom it said “suffered from the sins of immorality to have gone to the room of her student which resulted in the show of shame, humiliation and torture which left his career in ruins.
“This court is of the view that there is a very strong conspiracy and set up against Dr. Otubu, even though the defence Counsel had submitted before the court that suspicion does not amount to conspiracy,
Throughout the length and breadth of the case, there is a thread which runs through criminal procedure of the case against the accused persons.
“Therefore, I hold that count 1, has not been proved as required by law. For count 2, the the first and second accused persons had testified that, the allegations were communicated to the school authorities about the show of shame.
“I believe them in this, because judging from the position of the the Principal Witness (PW1) and the first accused person, the whole truth was found and doctored. Such situation is highly embarrassing to him as a lecturer, his family and the University Community.”
Responding, Counsel to the defendants, Olayowola Afolabi, agreed with the judgement on sexual promiscuity of PW1 as “a show of shame.”
He however pleaded with the court for clemency for the convicted persons on ground that the convicts were first offenders, stressing that the second convict is a nursing mother.
“The first accused person my lord, is about to get married. I had to plead with the husband to allow her to come to court.
“My lord, the first and second accused persons were first offenders. My lord also has the option to caution the convicts in view of the circumstances. My lord is a woman who knows where the shoe is pinching us.
“So my lord, I am pleading. Literarily, my lord, I am on my knees. It is a show of shame for the lecturer to come to the house of his student”.
Having heard to submission of the counsel to the defendants, Chief Magistrate Iluobe handed down an option of fine to the first and second accused persons in lieu of imprisonment.
Dr. Otubu, who was highly elated, said the judgement has vindicated him. He however noted that he was not sacked by management of AAU but his appointment terminated to enable him prove his innocence.
“I am okay. The principal suspect, Ivie Okosun and her sister, Juliet Obehi Okosun, have been jailed, whether they were given an option of fine or not.
“To correct the erroneous impression, I was never dismissed from AAU, my appointment was terminated based on the video that was posted on the Internet,” he said.