Dr. Olufemi Olaleye, the Medical Director of Optimal Cancer Care Foundation, convicted of rape, is mounting a legal challenge by appealing the judgment handed down by the Lagos Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court.
In a notice of appeal filed with the Court of Appeal, Olaleye, sentenced to life imprisonment on October 24 for defiling his wife’s 16-year-old niece, contends that the lower court erred in its reliance on the prosecution’s evidence.
Olaleye, represented by his lawyer, Dr. Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, argues that the prosecution’s case lacked credible independent corroborative evidence, asserting a violation of established legal principles in cases of defilement or sexual assault involving a child.
Pinheiro emphasized that such corroboration must be credible, external, and independent of the child’s testimony.
Furthermore, Pinheiro criticized the lower court for failing to invoke Section 167(d) of the Evidence Act 2011 when the prosecution did not present the alleged victim’s birth certificate.
According to Pinheiro, this failure should lead the court to presume the evidence was willfully withheld because it was unfavorable to the prosecution.
“The birth certificate or any document related to the date of birth of the alleged victim ought to have been in the custody of the prosecution or the victim.
The prosecution chose not to present the said birth certificate or any document in that regard,” Pinheiro argued, citing legal precedents.
In his plea to the appellate court, Pinheiro requested the discharge and acquittal of Olaleye, outlining specific orders sought: “An order of this honourable court discharging and acquitting the appellant of the offences spelt out on the face of the information filed in Charge No: ID/20289C/2022” and “An order of this honourable court setting aside the decision of the honourable lower court contained in the judgment delivered on the 24th day of October 2023 in charge No: ID/20289C/2022.”
The appeal introduces a new legal battle in this high-profile case, as Olaleye seeks to overturn the conviction based on perceived legal errors and insufficiency of corroborating evidence.
The Court of Appeal will now weigh the arguments presented, potentially reshaping the outcome of this controversial trial.
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