14th June, 2012
A housekeeper with one of the prominent hotels in Abuja was on Wednesday docked before Magistrate Folasade Oyekan on an alleged assault with intent to defile a 5-year old girl who, with her mother, had been lodging at the hotel for about three months now.
The hotel management is, however, crying foul over the incident, claiming that it never happened.
They accused the girl’s mother (name withheld) of resorting to claims that her daughter was raped so as not to pay the hotel the debt she accumulated from accommodation and feeding.
The 5-year old victim said to be a Canadian citizen by birth, was allegedly raped by the hotel’s housekeeper, Mr. Godwin Okon, on two different occasions.
Okon, who works with Bolingo Hotels And Towers, pleaded not guilty to the charge of assault, criminal force against a woman with intent to outrage modesty, contrary to section 268 of the criminal code law.
The presence of lawyers from the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice’ office however stalled proceedings in the matter following the lawyers’ announcement of the intention of the AGF to take over the prosecution of the matter from the Nigeria Police which charged the alleged rapist before the court.
The lawyers led by Mr. Ejike Orji told Magistrate Oyekan that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Muhammed Adoke (SAN), has indicated his interest to prosecute the matter.
The girl’s mother had complained to the police on 8 May that Mr. Okon, the housekeeper, kissed and touched her little daughter’s buttocks only to later allege in a petition to the Attorney General of the Federation that her daughter was raped by the said Okon.
Bolingo Hotel’s management denied the allegation, stating that the woman has been staying in the hotel since 12 March and is owing the management over N1million but has since been unable to pay her bills.
They claimed she came up with this story after the management wrote her a letter asking her to pay up her outstanding bills.
The management, through one of its directors, revealed that the little girl was taken to the National Hospital in company of the police, the girl’s mother and a team of her lawyers, where thorough medical examination was carried out on the infant and the result clearly indicated that nothing was wrong with the little girl.
They further stated that three weeks after, the girl’s mother travelled and came back to say she has a contrary result from a private hospital in Abuja showing that the little girl was raped.
Magistrate Folashade Oyekan adjourned the matter till 25 June to enable the lawyers from AGF and the defence counsel, Mr. Suleiman Usman, address the court on whether the AGF can take over a case in an inferior court of records when the police had started prosecuting the case.