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Alleged Rape: Court To Rule On Admissibility of Polygraph Test

A Lagos State Domestic Violence and Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja has fixed October 5, 2018 for ruling on the admissibility of a polygraph test in the case of alleged rape of a 2 year-old Chrisland school girl.

One Adegboyega Adenekan is facing trial over the alleged rape of the girl.

At the continuation of trial on Wednesday, Prosecution Counsel, Babajide Boye sought to tender the result of the polygraph test, consent form and polygraph charge sheet as evidence after the testimony of a polygraph expert, Mr Adebayo Falolu.

Falolu in his testimony, had told the court that he was contacted from the United States by the father of the Chrisland pupil who enquired about his company’s polygraph services.

He noted that shortly after, the child’s mother came to his office for the test with her uncle as well as Adenekan, and representatives from the school.

He said: “We conducted the polygraph examination on Nov. 15, 2016.

“Prior to that day, the child’s mother contacted us and told me that her daughter was molested by a teacher of the school and she wanted to conduct a polygraph on the teacher.

“The school authorities called me on Nov. 14, 2016 and I requested that that the alleged perpetuator, the mother and representatives give letters authorizing Halogen to conduct the test.

“The next day, two school representatives, the alleged perpetuator and the mother came with an uncle of hers.

“We all sat together because I needed to know the scenario, I was told the perpetuator allegedly molested the child and the school representatives denied that it happened.

Stating his findings after the test, Falolu said: “The result are in three stages which are deceptive, non deceptive and inconclusive.

“The outcome of this was minus nine which showed that Adenekan was deceptive to the case under investigation as at that time.”

State Prosecutor, Boye then subsequently sought to tender the result of the polygraph test.

Defence Counsel, Mr Olatunde Adejuyigbe (SAN), however objected to the tendering of the documents.

He told the court that the polygraph evidence was not recognized under Nigerian law.

He said: “The totality of this evidence is inadmissible according to Section 57 of the Evidence Act.

“There is nothing in Sections 58 to 76 that admits an opinion as to whether a person is lying.

“The opinion of experts is circumscribed in Section 68 and Section 76 says that if you purview the provision of the Evidence Act, you have to seek other laws validly on force in the country.

“There is no law that grants the admissibility of polygraph examination in our Nigerian laws. His oral evidence and what this document seeks to talk about is expressly excluded by Section 67.

“The revised Evidence Act of 2011 has taken all technological advances into consideration, polygraph evidence is a foreign practice and our jurisprudence does not recognize it.

“It will be a dangerous practice for the courts to openly embrace it, I urge this court to mark the documents tendered and rejected.”

Responding, the prosecution said the SAN misinterpreted the Evidence Act in his submission.

“The question is that are these documents relevant, part of the facts in the issue and are they connected?

“The defendant was not compelled he went voluntarily and signed the consent form.

“Proper foundation has been laid in relation to Section 84 of the Evidence Act and we submit that these documents are admissible.”

After hearing from both counsel, Justice Sybil Nwaka adjourned the case until Oct. 5 for ruling.

Earlier during proceedings, Adejuyigbe cross-examined Dr Oluwatoyin Olayioye, a medical doctor from the Mirabel Centre who examined the Chrisland School pupil.

Olayioye insisted that she spoke to the child’s mother when she brought her daughter to the Mirabel Centre.

The defence disputed her claims by showing her records of the mother’s courtroom testimony in which she admitted that she did not speak to a doctor at the Mirabel Centre.

The medical doctor also said that she did not notice scars or abrasions in the genital area of the child when she examined her.

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