Godswill Udoh

29.06.2022 Featured For Refusing to be Searched by Unidentified Police Officers, Lagos Welder Spends 11 Years in Prison

Published 29th Jun, 2022

By Emmanuel Uti

Headfort Foundation, a prison reform organisation, has narrated how Godswill Udoh, a Lagos-based welder, spent 11 years and seven months in Ikoyi Prison for refusing to be searched by unidentified police officers.

In a Twitter thread on Tuesday, the foundation said two police officers from Ajeromi Police Station accosted Udoh in November 2010, when he went to visit his parents in Ajegunle, Lagos.

Headfort said the officers requested to search Udoh, but he refused because the officers had nothing to prove who they were.

“They got angry at his refusal and immediately beat him up. They later arrested Udoh at Ajeromi Police Station, where he remained for two months without being charged to court for any crime,” said Headfort.

READ ALSO: Guard Who Committed No Crime Spends 5 Months in Prison — ‘Because Someone Must Be Held Accountable’

The organisation stated that the police charged Udoh to a Magistrate Court for the offence of armed robbery, and that his case was on for two years because of a long wait for the advice of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).

In 2013, the DPP advised that Udoh be charged to a higher court, Headfort said. Udoh appeared for the first time before a high court, TBS High Court, for the first time in January 2014.

The organisation said the matter was moved from one court to another in 2014 because Udoh had no legal representation and could not afford one.

READ ALSO: Truck Driver Spends 6 Years in Kirikiri for Trying to Secure Brother’s Release from SARS

Headfort said Udoh met Oluyemi Orija, one of its lawyers, during her visit to the prison in 2019. Orija took Udoh’s brief and applied for his bail, and the court granted it in November 2021.

According to the prison reform initiative, Udoh’s family made efforts to perfect his bail but could not do so for lack of funds.

Headfort stated that a partner of theirs, Abdu-Salaam Abbas & Co., took over the case in March 2022 and asked the court to strike it out.

“On June 22, 2022, the court granted the application and discharged Udoh,” Headfort said.

Published 29th Jun, 2022

By Emmanuel Uti


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