Two Chinese men, Chen Gang, 47 and Zhao Weidong, 31, have been arraigned at the Ebute Meta Magistrate’s Court, Lagos State, for allegedly conspiring to rape a 20-year-old Nigerian lady, Oluchi Chukwuemeka.
The incident was said to have happened at Railway Compound in the Ebute Meta area of Lagos.
The men were said to be employees of a popular Chiense construction firm, China Civil Engineering Construction Company.
Our correspondent learnt that Chen Gang was the chief cook of the company, while Chukwuemeka was his assistant.
He was said to have made several sexual overtures to the girl who ignored them.
When the pressures became much, Chukwuemeka was said to have reported the harassment to the policemen guarding the company.
Things came to a head on the night of September 15, 2013, when Chukwuemeka, who was on a salary of N24,000 per month, was allegedly lured into the store by Gang.
As the victim entered the store, thinking she was being sent on a genuine assignment, she was said to have been followed by the defendant.
He allegedly locked the door and began to forcefully unbutton the 20-year-old dress and pull down her trousers.
The girl, however, began shouting, which drew the attention of people nearby, including the policemen.
The second defendant, Weidong, was said to have rushed to the store and seized the girl’s phone. He allegedly dumped it in the toilet.
One of the policemen, however, ran after him and recovered the phone in the water closet.
Both men were arrested and arraigned on Wednesday on seven counts of attempted rape, sexual harassment, indecent assault, perversion of justice and willful damage of Chukwuemeka’s handset.
The charge read in part, “That you, Chen Gang, on the 15th day of September, 2013, at about 8pm at China Civil Engineering Constructing Company, Federal Road, Railway Compound, Ebute Meta, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did attempt to rape one Oluchi Chukwuemeka.
“That you, Chen Gang, on the same date, place and time, in the aforesaid Magisterial District, did sexually harassed one Oluchi Chukwuemeka by struggling with her in an attempt to have unlawful carnal knowledge of her.
“That you, Zhao Weidong, on the same date, time and place in the aforesaid magisterial district did willfully destroy a Nokia-200 handset by throwing it into the toilet, property of one Oluchi Chukwuemeka.”
The prosecutor, Inspector Moses Uaedmuvbo, said the offences were punishable under Sections 260, 262, 134(2), 170, 91, 97, 348 of the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.
Gang and Weidong pleaded not guilty.
The defence counsel, Fidelis Osordi, pleaded that the accused be granted bail in liberal terms.
The magistrate, Mrs. M.O Tanimola, admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of 100,000 with two responsible sureties who must be gainfully employed with evidence of tax payment. The matter was adjourned till October 17.