Justice Abiola Soladoye of an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, Lagos, on Monday advised the mother of Chinedu Ezebuka, 19, who was accused of sodomy to mentor him to shun the act.
Ezebuka, a mechanic, was arraigned on March 25 for allegedly sodomising a 13-year-old male secondary school student (name withheld).
Soladoye admonished the woman after the Prosecutor, Mrs Arinola Momoh-Ayokanbi, told the court that the parents of the complainant and other witnesses were no longer interested in pursuing the case.
Addressing the widow in the courtroom, the judge said, “You need to talk to him, pray with him, guide him and spend quality time with him. God is a God of second chances.
“Get your church involved. Get an elderly person in your neighbourhood to also mentor him. You cannot abandon him; he is your tomorrow.”
Ezebuka, who stood trial for alleged sexual assault by penetration, told the judge that he had been in prison custody since Jan. 18, 2018 and had learnt shoe-making while there.
“Sodomy has many health consequences. Please do not keep bad friends; keep friends you can learn good things from.
“Do not make your mother cry; your father has died and she is the only one you have got. It is never too late to make amends,” the judge said.
Soladoye, thereafter, struck out the criminal suit against the defendant since the complainant and his family was unwilling to continue with the case.
“There is no moral justification to continue to hold the defendant in the correctional facility.
“This case is struck out for want of diligent prosecution, though the prosecution can re-arrest the defendant if they are able to reassemble their witnesses,” she added.
The prosecutor had earlier told the court that the defendant committed the offence at 8 p.m. on Jan. 9, 2018 on Akinwunmi St., Ikeja.
“He sexually assaulted the minor by penetrating him through the anus,” Momoh-Ayokanbi said.
The mechanic was allegedly caught in the act of defiling the minor by a member of the public who reported the offence to authorities.
Before withdrawing the case, three witnesses were slated to testify for the state during the trial.
The offence contravenes Section 261 of the Criminal Law of Lagos, 2015.