Acquittal of Professor David Ogbonna
In a significant legal development, a Chief Magistrate Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has discharged and acquitted Professor David Ogbonna, a lecturer at the Rivers State University.
The charges against him pertained to unlawful and indecent sexual assault allegations brought by a female student.
On June 28, 2022, the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) in Port Harcourt had arraigned Professor David Ogbonna on a single count charge of unlawful and indecent assault.
The charge was related to an incident involving a twenty-one-year-old female student of the institution.
The court, presided over by Chief Magistrate Poromon Menenen, delivered its judgment on Monday.
In a notable outcome, Professor Ogbonna was acquitted of the charges of unlawful and indecent assault. The court determined that the prosecution team failed to substantiate their case.
Key Factors in the Acquittal
Chief Magistrate Menenen highlighted several factors that contributed to the acquittal. Firstly, the phone the female student claimed to have used for recording Professor Ogbonna’s discussion with her on the day of the alleged incident was not presented as an exhibit during the trial.
Additionally, the disc the student claimed to have used for transferring the recording was also not tendered as evidence.
Furthermore, the underwear the female student asserted had a semen stain after the alleged assault was never subjected to a forensic examination.
The prosecution team failed to summon the Health Worker who conducted a medical examination on the female student to testify.
Lack of Substantial Evidence
The Magistrate emphasized the absence of substantial evidence to prove the case of unlawful and indecent assault against Professor David Ogbonna.
Key witnesses were not presented, and critical pieces of evidence were missing from the proceedings. Consequently, the court made the decision to discharge and acquit Professor Ogbonna.