From the CourtPilot Law

Withdrew from case after discovering HIV positive client raped, infected three ladies during robbery operation – Onaolapo

Barrister Toyin Mohammed Onaolapo graduated from the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto in 1997 and due to the protracted ASUU strike that dominated that period, got admitted into the Nigerian Law School in 1999 as one of the pioneer set of the Abuja Campus. He was subsequently called to the Bar in 2000 and joined Bamidele Aluko & Co. where he practiced for about three years before he opened his own chamber, Toyin Mohammed Onaolapo & Co. popularly known as Togunjo Law Temple. In this interview with ACTING EDITOR, MUMINI ABDULKAREEM, the legal practitioner who has spent over 20 years in practice talks about his most dramatic moment thus far. Excerpts:
There was an armed robbery case I handled which made me feel very sad. It happened that the person I defended who was being charged for armed robbery was an HIV positive patient and he was very much aware of his status. During the armed robbery “operation” which he was brought to court for, he allegedly raped three of his victims and infected them with the disease. Imagine such callousness. After I discovered that he truly committed the offence while inside the court room, I told the judge that I can no longer represent him again as the case was against my conscience. I had to withdraw. The suspect in question never knew what happened that prompted my decision until I opened up in the court and accused him publicly. I said so knowing that he was aware of his status, apart from robbing the victims, he now transferred the deadly virus to them. I reproached him that he was not fit to be living among humans with such kind of behaviour. My action that day and the way I withdrew earned me praises from the judge as a man of conscience. This case happened about three years ago. Although I handled criminal matters mostly, I have conscience and whenever I am conflicted regarding any case with my conscience, I don’t hesitate to hands off the case no matter what or who is involved.

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