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Court to hear Ese’s evidence in camera

eSJustice Aliya Ngajiwa of the Federal High Court, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Thursday approved an application by lawyers to Ese Oruru, requesting the court to take the minors evidence in camera.

The law permits courts to hear evidence in private in cases that would breach trade secrets, national security or matters involving minors.

This implies that the media or people not directly involved in the matter would not be allowed in the court to hear the girls evidence on scheduled dates.

Oruru, 14, was allegedly abducted, forcibly married and impregnated by Yunusa Dahiru. alias Yellow, a Kano indigene.

But Justice Nganjiwa, who cited many authorities, averred that it was trite for the court to make arrangement to hear any matter in private based on evidence before it.

He said that in the opinion of the court, the accused would lose nothing, if the evidence of the alleged victim, Oruru, was taken in private.

He noted that the judge or magistrate may use his discretion if, in the opinion of the court, the subject was below 18.

He said alleged victims, especially in the case of rape and child-trafficking, could also be protected by the court, adding that the mother of the now heavily-pregnant Oruru was able to show the court that her daughter was less than 18 years.

He said: What will the accused suffer if the victims evidence is taken in private? I hereby order that the evidence should be taken in private and in the court chambers. The application hereby succeeds.

But the lead lawyer to the defendant, Mr. Kayode Olaosebikan, maintained that there was no merit in taking Orurus evidence in private.

He argued the identity of the minor and issues concerning the matter were already all over the Internet, print and electronic media.


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