Justice Abiola Soladoye of the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court on Thursday discharged and acquitted 23-year-old Victory Tasie, accused of raping his 19-year-old girlfriend, after spending two years in prison.

The judge discharged and acquitted Tasie when she ruled on a no-case submission filed by the defendant through his counsel, Mrs Rukayat Owolabi, dated March 19, 2024.

Justice Soladoye held that the prosecution failed to discharge the burden of proof of defilement against Tasie.

She held that the witness (alleged survivor, Tasie’s girlfriend) called by the prosecution had revealed to the court in her testimony that Tasie was her boyfriend and that he did not rape her.

According to the judge, the evidence of the survivor was key, and she testified before the court that she was not a minor when she got pregnant for the defendant as she was born on April 12, 2003.

Soladoye said, “The defence counsel filed a no-case submission dated March 19, stating that the prosecution had failed to establish the charge of defilement against the defendant and urged the court to discharge and acquit him.

“The prosecution only called one witness, and having not been able to call other witnesses, the prosecution closed its case on February 8, 2024.

“I have carefully considered the submissions of the learned counsel, and the court finds that the prosecution failed to prove the charge of defilement against the defendant.

“I hereby uphold the no-case submission of the defendant in this case. The defendant has no case to answer, and he is hereby discharged and acquitted.”

The state government had accused Tasie of defiling the purported survivor, who was 16 years old, according to the charge, sometime in January 2022.

The girlfriend, however, in her testimony dated November 8, 2023, told the court that she was 19 years old and not 16 when Tasie had sex with her, which led to pregnancy.

She had also told the court that Tasie did not rape her as they were both in a romantic relationship, and the sex that occurred was consensual.

“Yes, I know the defendant. He is my boyfriend. I am here in this court to say that he did not rape me, and he is my boyfriend. I was not 16 years old when I got pregnant; I was 19,” she had said.