Headfort Foundation, a prison reform organisation, has shared the harrowing story of Ilolo Ilaolo (pseudonym used), a 20-year-old cattleman who spent six months behind bars due to a false accusation.
According to Headfort, a fellow Ekiti-based cattle farmer accused Ilaolo of stealing 38 cattle in December 2022. That accusation led to Ilaolo’s arrest and subsequent detention in police custody for several days.
He was eventually arraigned in a court in January 2023 and charged with theft.
Headfort said Ilaolo crossed paths with one of the foundation’s lawyers who took on his case in April and represented him in court until his eventual release.
“He doesn’t comprehend the English language and there was no interpreter provided for him during his court hearings. On numerous adjourned court dates, the prosecution failed to produce any witnesses, leaving the court’s time seemingly wasted,” Headfort said.
“On June 7, Headfort informed the court about the prosecution’s lack of diligence and Ilaolo’s inability to understand the court’s proceedings.
“The court acknowledged our lawyer’s submission and dismissed the case due to a lack of diligent prosecution.”
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