For defiling a five-year-old female pupil placed in his custody, a 43-year-old Islamic cleric, Abdulsalam Salaudeen, is now cooling off at the Kirikiri Prison on the orders of an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court.
Although the accused, brought before the court on Wednesday denied committing the offence, the Chief Magistrate, Mrs Olufunke Sule-Amzat, ordered that he be remanded in the Kirikiri Prison, pending advice from the State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
She adjourned the case until Feb. 7 for hearing.
The accused, who resides at 16 Awoyemi Street, Igando Road, Ikotun, a Lagos suburb, was docked for defilement.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Insp. Benson Emuerhi, told the court that the offence was committed on Dec. 22, at Olorungbebe Mosque located at Iyana Ile-Oba, in Igando area of Lagos.
Emuerhi said that the accused was a popular Islamic cleric within the locale.
He told the court that the incident was reported by a neighbour at the Ikeja Police Command.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused was earlier arrested by operatives of the Lagos State Police Command.
In a video presented to the Lagos Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, the cleric, was caught defiling the girl who was supposed to be learning Islamic studies from him.
According to the Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, a neighbour to the accused had tendered the video in evidence of the cleric having anal sex with his underage pupil to the Lagos State Police Command headquarters.
“The Police commissioner after watching the heart-rending video, directed the command’s undercover operatives attached to the State Intelligence Bureau to immediately arrest the culprit and hand him over to the gender section for a detailed investigation.
“The operatives went in search of the cleric and arrested him near a mosque in the Igando area of the state.
“He was taken to the Gender Unit, where the officer-in-charge, ASP Abimbola Williams, confronted him with the video footage of him defiling the child by penetrating her anus and private parts,” Otti said
The offence, Emuerhi added, contravened Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
NAN reports that the section prescribes life sentence for offenders.