A Senior Magistrates’ Court sitting in Port Harcourt on Monday remanded a 46-year-old lawyer, Kingsley Philips, in prison for alleged defilement of a-12-year-old girl.
Philips is standing trial on a one-count charge of defilement.
Senior Magistrate Kariba Braide said she had initially used her discretion to admit the defendant to bail in order to enable him seek settlement with the victim’s family.
“Since the parties could not settle, the law will take its course. I revoke the order I had made on the case.
“The case file has to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for advice.
“The defendant has to be remanded in prison. Missiles have been flying because of the decision I took.
“My boss has called me about the matter. My hands are tied.
“I had bent backward, gave time (16 days) to act fast, but nothing was done. I have my job to protect.
“Several petitions have been written against me because of this case, because I am a controversial magistrate, anything I do rings bell,” she said
NAN reports that many lawyers had pleaded with the magistrate to temper justice with mercy, but all to no avail. Defilement is punishable with life imprisonment on conviction.