Chief Magistrate Poromon Menenen has acquitted and discharged Professor David Ogbonna of Rivers State University, of sexual assault charges.
Prof. Ogbonna was standing trial for alleged unlawful and indecent assault on a female student by inserting his penis in her vagina in his office at the University campus.
Delivering judgment on the case, Chief Magistrate Menenen, said the prosecution team failed to prove their case.
According to the Magistrate, the phone the victim claimed to use in recording Prof Ogbonna’s discussion with her on the day of the alleged incident, was never tendered as an exhibit during the course of the trial.
He also stated that the disc the female student claimed she transferred the recording to, was not also tendered in the course of the trial.
The Magistrate stated that the underwear the female student claimed had a semen stain after she was allegedly unlawfully assaulted was not subjected to a forensic examination of any kind and the prosecution team failed to call the health worker, who conducted the medical examination on the female student to come and testify.
“The prosecution team also failed to provide the witness to testify, who the survivor alleged to have left her and the Professor in the lecturer’s office after both of them came to his office.
“There is no substantial evidence to prove the case of unlawful and indecent assault against Prof David Ogbonna,” the court held.
Consequently, the Magistrate discharged and acquitted him .
The state prosecuting counsel, G.U. Amana, in the matter representing Rivers State Ministry of Justice, declined to speak to Journalists outside court after the judgment.
One of the defendant’s counsel, Emma Okah, in an interview with journalists outside the court, said the defence team knew the case would go the way it went because there was no evidence from day one.
Okah asserted that Prof Ogbonna has been innocent from the beginning and will continue to be innocent.
Recall that the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Port Harcourt, had on June 28, 2022, arraigned Prof Ogbonna on a count charge of unlawful and indecent assault against a 21-year-old female student of the institution.
The accused then pleaded not guilty to the charge and the trial commenced.