The founder of a non-governmental organisation, Jephath Ighodaro, has been remanded in the Kirikiri prison for allegedly sodomising his four-year-old twin children.
He was remanded by a magistrate at an Ogba Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
PUNCH Metro had reported that the police spokesperson, CSP Chike Oti, said the 37-year-old was arrested after his wife alleged that he sodomised their twin boys.
According to the police, the couple separated in October 2015 after which Ighodaro withdrew the children from their school in March 2016.
He was accused of abusing the children between January and July 2018, as he allegedly penetrated their anuses and made them suck his manhood.
When the children spent a weekend with their mother, they allegedly fondled her breasts, which made her suspicious.
When she queried them, the kids allegedly said their father had been sodomising them.
The Director of the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender, Mrs Adeyinka Adeyemi, had told our correspondent that the results of medical tests from the Mirabel Medical Centre, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, showed that the victims were abused.
She said while being interviewed at the agency’s office, the children went to toilet about three times, adding that they might have health problems.
The Edo State indigene was arraigned on Friday on two counts of sodomy.
The charge read, “That you, Jephath Ighodaro, between January 2018 (and July 2018), between 7am and 10pm on Saint Augustine Street, Orisunmbare, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did unlawfully sexually assault one (first child) by penetrating his anus, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 261 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2015.
“That you, Jephat Ighodaro, between January 2018 (and July 2018), between 7am and 10pm on Saint Augustine Street, Orisunmbare, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did unlawfully sexually assault one (second child) by penetrating his anus, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 261 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2015.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty and elected summary trial.
The police prosecutor, Inspector Samuel Ishola, who stood in for the resident prosecutor, Christopher John, applied for the remand of the defendant in prison.
The defence counsel, Sunday Aniebite, applied for the bail of the defendant, saying the law presumed Ighodaro innocent until the contrary was proven.
“The defendant has never committed any offence before and if granted bail, he will not cause obstruction to the cause of justice. He will not jump bail,” he said.
Ishola, however, said, “The charge before the court is tantamount to a capital offence and that is why the police have come with a remand application. If he is granted bail, it will prejudice the interest of justice,” he said.
Ighodaro, on enquiry from the Chief Magistrate, Mr. P.E. Nwaka, said he was a social worker and had recently formed his NGO, Purple Foundation, adding that he got an approval for it in May 2018.
He explained that before he formed the group, he consulted for an international organisation.
Nwaka, who stood down the case after observing an oversight in the remand form brought by the police, later remanded Ighodaro in custody.
He said, “After considering the remand application by the prosecution vis-a-vis the affidavit, and taking into consideration the circumstances of the case, the application of the prosecution is meritorious; I will therefore grant it. The defendant is to be remanded for the first 30 days pending the release of legal advice.”
He adjourned the case till September 3, 2018.