The Medical Director of Optimal Cancer Care Foundation, Dr Olufemi Olaleye, has asked the Court of Appeal to set aside his conviction by the lower court over alleged rape of minor.
Olaleye, in a notice of appeal filed by his lawyer, Dr Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, said the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court was wrong to have relied on the evidence presented by the prosecution against him.
The court, presided over by Justice Rahman Oshodi in the charge number: ID/20289C/2022 had, on October 24, 2023, sentenced Olaleye to life imprisonment for alleged defilement of his wife’s niece.
However, in the appeal dated and filed on Nov. 24 at the Appeal Court sitting in Lagos State, the appellant, through his lawyer, gave 35 grounds why his appeal should be allowed.
In the copy of the notice of appeal made available to newsmen in Abuja, Pinheiro argued that “the lower court erred in law when, in the absence of any direct evidence, it held that the alleged victim of the crime was a child of 16 at the time of the offence.”
He said that the prosecution did not tender any documentary evidence in support of its case that the alleged victim of the crime was 16 years.
In proving this fact, the lawyer argued that the prosecution had the onerous duty of presenting the birth certificate of the complainant which would have served as conclusive proof of her age.
Pinheiro said the alleged survivor never accused the appellant of rape before the police who interviewed her when the alleged events were still very fresh in her mind.
He said it was only four months after the alleged incident occurred that she turned around and alleged that the appellant raped her.
According to him, the court ought to have been suspicious of the time frame between her statements to the police and the Gender Department of the police.
He argued that since the video recording played in open court showed the alleged survivor denying in clear terms that the appellant never released semen in her mouth, the court ought to have found that her subsequent allegation of rape was not only contradictory of her statement to the police but a rehearsed story aimed at nailing the appellant at all cost.
According to him, the honourable lower court erred in law when it held that it did not “…believe that Aunty Tessy was a vital witness,” while believing the testimony of PW1 and PW2 (prosecutrix).
“Firstly, PW1 (the appellant’s wife & complainant) not being present when the appellant allegedly had sexual intercourse with the alleged survivor could not have corroborated the evidence of the alleged survivor because corroborative evidence ought to come from a person who directly witnessed the events as they occurred.
“Secondly, any corroborative evidence ought to come from an independent source.
“Having demonstrated during trial that PW1 stood to benefit from the appellant’s conviction, it was wrong of the court to have relied on her tainted testimony in finding that her evidence corroborated that of the complainant,” the lawyer argued, among others.