A Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has remanded a 22-year-old man, Joshua Efe at the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre for unlawfully and sexually assaulting four boys in the state capital.
The boys are aged nine, eleven, twelve and sixteen respectively.
Efe, who lives in Port Harcourt, was charged for sexually assaulting the boys by touching their reproductive organs and nipples.
He was also said to have seduced them through promises of gifts so as to engage them in the acts, thereby committing an offence punishable under section 353 of the criminal code cap 37 vol.11 laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999.
The charge sheet no. PMC/1557C/2021 reads: “That you Joshua Efe on the 25th day of October 2021 at No. 8 Ekwulobia street, Mile 11 Diobu, Port Harcourt did unlawfully and indecently assaulted Winner Chikazie ‘m’ aged 9, Soikepirim Obene aged 11, Michael Reuben ‘m’ aged 12 and Orusakwe Izuchukwu ‘m’ aged 16 years by touching the penis and breast of the aforementioned children and also seducing them by promising them different gifts to engage them in an unnatural offence thereby committed an offence punishable under section 353 of the criminal code cap 37 vol.11 laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him and was remanded by Chief Magistrate Rita Oguguo at the correctional facility till November 18, 2021, for consideration of bail and hearing.
The plaintiff counsel, Jane Okpamen of the Centre for Basic Rights Protection and Accountability Campaign who spoke to newsmen after the court sitting expressed the hope that justice will be done in the matter to serve as a deterrent to others.
“The defendant was arraigned before the Chief Magistrate and he pleaded not guilty. So, it was entered for him and thereafter he was remanded. The case is adjourned till the 18th day of November 2021 for hearing and bail consideration,” Okpamen added.
Our correspondent reports that the defendant did not have a legal representative.