By Michael Adesanya/ Abeokuta
A magistrate court sitting in Odeda area of Ogun State, on Friday, struck out a sexual harassment case against the director of Stephen Children Home School, Rev Isaac Newton.
Some ex – students of the home, under the aegis of the Concerned Past Students of Stephen Children Home (COPASSTECH), had earlier accused the director of sexually harassing 20 female students of the school and called for the prosecution of the accused person.
The director was equally accused of taking the virginity of one of the students (name withheld).
Upon complaint, the police dragged Reverend Newton to court – pressing a case of sexual harassment against him with Austin Ozimini, an ASP, as police prosecutor.
Delivering his judgment after about a year of hearing the case, Magistrate B.O Ilo however found no evidence against the accused person. He added that the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) was that the case was borne out of “power tussle” within the management of the Home.
The Magistrate further said the DPP found out that the account of the two principal witnesses in the case, in respect of the allegations, were contradictory. He therefore struck out the case.
The defendant’s counsel, Mr Samuel Nwaji expressed his delight with the judgment, adding that justice has been done. Nwaji disclosed that the next action would be decided by his client.
He said: “We are pleased; although from the beginning, I knew there is nothing in the matter and I have been following the struggle for a while.
“It is unfortunate that our attitude in this part of the world is that if we cannot get it, we would seek to destroy it and as a result they recruited children in the home to concoct stories even when those that are behind the case have been in the system for long.
“But as a lawyer I have to then look into what was brought before the court and you will want to ascertain if there is any substance in their claims.
“But today we thank God, I am not the one that was victimised and as a result, the next line of action will be decided by my client. Although I know Reverend was the one who brought up this children since when the were toddlers but, it is wrong to advise a client against his/her conscience.”
Reverend Newton thanked God and his adversaries, among others, adding that he was sure that a righteous man will not die in the place of the wicked.
“I just thank God,’’ he said. ‘’I owe all of it to God and everyone, especially my wife. I have had to ask God why, but I haven’t gotten any response for it but the most important thing is that I have been vindicated today and I thank God almighty. You can imagine, I live like a slave among the children, but they insulted me; but I give it all to the lord. Although, I am sure that the righteous will not die in place of the wicked “.