The prosecutor of Dare Williams and Bethel Chukwuocha, students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, who are facing trial on allegations of car snatching and robbery, is preventing the alleged victim from pulling out of the case, FIJ can report.
In a recorded conversation obtained by FIJ, the alleged victim, simply identified as Clement, was heard telling this source that he had made attempts to pull out of the matter but the prosecutor had prevented him from doing so.
FIJ had reported how police officers in Lagos State arrested Williams and Chukwuocha. Both men were arrested in the morning of December 22, 2020, two months after the #EndSARS protests came to an end, and according to a source, Williams was targeted for sharing videos of an assault on a policeman to his over 30,000 contacts on WhatsApp.
As of the time of the report, both men had spent 19 months in Kirikiri medium security prison awaiting the start of their trial, and two months after, they continue to wait through several adjournments.
“When they went to court, the prosecutor brought one Clement as a witness. He (Clement) claimed they were the ones who were terrorising the hood and robbed him of his car, but in February this year, he withdrew from the case,” a source told FIJ.
This comes after Williams told FIJ that the prosecutor had told the court on several occasions that Clement was unavailable, leading to more adjournments and a delay in the hearing.
In the audio conversation obtained by FIJ, Clement says, “I have been to the court for about three to four times, and have made my position known. At a point, barrister Kuku (prosecutor) was there, and I said I wanted to come and testify to the court.
“I was there, but they said they didn’t need all that. I said even if it was for me to put it into writing, I was ready to do it. They said I didn’t need all that, and they didn’t need me. I could go.
“The other time, I came and said ‘let me testify and go because I don’t want anything that will stress me emotionally’.
“I told them, I told Kuku that even if it was to write that this was my position and I had forgiven them, and I didn’t want to be stressed again… He told me that they didn’t need me anymore. I said that it was fine.
“Another person called me from the ministry of justice and said they needed me, and if I didn’t show up, they would arrest me. It was a threat emotionally to me.”
Williams told FIJ that when he was in court earlier in the year, he saw Clement, and was expecting the prosecutor to call him to the witness box as he had not been dismissed after testifying at the previous hearing, but Kuku told the judge that Clement was not in court.
FIJ contacted Olayinka Adeyemi, Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, and Grace Alo, Public Affairs Commissioner, but they both declined to comment.
FIJ also sent an email to the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, but it was yet to be replied to as of press time.
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