A Reverend, Joseph Ma’aji of Barnawa, Kaduna, accused of raping his 16-year-old house maid, was on Tuesday remanded in the custody of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) by a Chief Magistrate Court in Kaduna.
The Chief Magistrate, Bashir Shittu, ordered that Ma’aji be remanded pending advice from the office of the state Director of Public Prosecution.
The Magistrate said that the court lacked the power to try the accused, who was arraigned over allegation of rape.
“However, the law said one should be taken to the nearest court, that is why you are brought here pending when the police will conclude their investigations and send the case file to lawyers in the ministry of justice.
“The lawyers in the ministry of justice would go through the fact of the case as contained in the case file, if they find sufficient evidence, they will charge you to High Court.
“We would also transfer you to the High Court for trial to begin, on the contrary if no evidence is found, you will be discharged and the case be terminated”, the chief magistrate said.
He adjourned the case to Aug. 25, for further mention.
Earlier, NSCDC legal officer prosecuting the case, Yayayi Jauro, said that on July 1, the state social welfare office in Kakuri, Kaduna, reported the case of alleged sexual harassment and act of gross indecency against the Reverend.
Jauro said that Ma’aji was reported to have been unlawfully having sexual intercourse on several occasions with his underaged maid, who was entrusted to him by her uncle, at his residence in Barnawa, Kaduna, since 2015.
Jauro added that Ma’aji had been molesting the girl and requesting for sexual favours unjustifiably and had voluntarily confessed to have committed the crime during investigations.
“Medical reports from Gwamna Awan hospital here in Kaduna had also confirmed commission of the alleged offence”, Jauro said.
He said the offence contravened section 257, 260 and 262 of the Kaduna State penal code law of 2017.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a Non Governmental Organizations, Bridge that Gap Initiative, had reported the matter to the state Ministry for Human Services and Social Development, requesting it to closely monitor the case.