A Federal High Court in Ibadan has given judicial reprieve to Dr Martins Fabunmi, a lecturer at the University of Ibadan (UI) on a case of alleged sexual harassment on a female student of the institution.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fabunmi had earlier been dismissed from service by the university management over the allegation by one Miss Thelma Adoseh.
NAN reports that the embattled Fabunmi had reported Adoseh, Kolawole Adesina, Peter Ogere and Olufemi Adesina, all students of the university to the Divisional Police Station at Sango in Ibadan.
He reported the students for alleged assault and armed robbery, upon which they were arrested and later granted administrative bail.
The suspects however jumped bail which informed why the police contacted their sureties, Ogundele Oyeleke and Adeleye Adebayo, both staff of the university to produce them.
The sureties had approached the applicants to save them from police harassment by producing the suspects.
But the parents instead of producing the suspects rushed to the court, to sue the police authorities, with the embattled lecturer, Fabunmi joined as a party.
The parents, Mrs. Stella Ogere, Major Joseph Adesina (rtd) and Mr. Innocent Adoseh filed three separate suits on the matter.
The suits filed before Justice J.O. Abdulmalik were FHC/IB/CS/69/2016, FHC/IB/CS/70/2016 and FHC/IB/CS/71/2016 respectively.
The plaintiffs complained of attempted arrest by the police on alleged offence committed by their children.
They told the court about their impending arrest for their inability to produce their children to face charges for the offence allegedly committed by the children.
The counsels described the action as unlawful, unconstitutional and a wrongful infringement on their fundamental right to personal liberty, human dignity and freedom of movement.
They subsequently sought for an order of the court restraining the defendants from violating or infringing on their fundamental rights and the payment of twelve million Naira (N12,000,000.00) as damages.
NAN reports that the defence counsels were S.E. Aruwaji for the Police, while Femi Aborisade and Nweke C. Umunna stood for Fabunmi.
Dismissing the claims, Abdulmalik, having listened to counter arguments by the defence counsels held that the applicants instituted the suit as a decoy to divert the police authorities from their investigation.
According to the judge, “I find from the entire submissions in applicants’ applications that there is no reasonable cause of action in the motions against the respondents.”
He averred that the applicants failed to debunk the fact that the suspects were not reasonably indicted by the police authorities pursuant to the complaint of Fabunmi to warrant their production by their sureties.
He cited ‘Exhibit J’ as the evidence to assuage the court, which is the letter of apology from applicants’ children and ‘Exhibit E’ which is another letter of apology signed by the parents.
“We are convinced that the case is a set up against you and we therefore apologise on their behalf and plead with you to tamper justice with mercy,” Abdulmalik quoted the letter.
The judge said that it was curious that parents, whose children were accused of assault and armed robbery or whose daughter was sexually abused would in turn write a letter of apology to the villain.
He added added that ‘Exhibit E’ had definitely deflated the core of the applicants’ suits because it begged reasoning.