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30.11.2021 Social Justice He was Jailed in 2018 for a Crime He Knew Nothing About. Now, He’s A Free Man

Published 30th Nov, 2021

By Yakubu Mohammed

Francis Saint Paul, a lawyer in Port Harcourt, has narrated how he secured the freedom of a man unlawfully detained for three years over a crime he did not commit. 

In a Facebook post on Monday, Paul said the accused was arraigned before a magistrate court in Port Harcourt for an alleged kidnap case.

“I went to the magistrate court three years ago to get a date and I saw this young man,” Paul narrated. “He was crying and praying the rosary. I went and sat beside him and asked him why he was crying. He kept on saying, ‘I didn’t do it; I didn’t do it.'” 

READ ALSO: Court Remands Man for Calling Ganduje ‘Thief’ on Facebook

Paul said he was empathetic when he listened to the man’s story and decided to take up his case pro bono.

“I pushed for his matter to be charged at the high court,” he said. “Today, the 29th of November,2021, the judge of the high court sitting in Port Harcourt has confirmed he didn’t do it and has declared him innocent. Discharged and acquitted.”

There have been several reports of Nigerians spending time in jail over unsubstantiated offences in recent times. Over 3000 citizens were said to have been detained in the southeastern part of the country between January and August this year.

There are also concerns that these victims of Nigeria’s criminal justice system do not get adequate compensation for being detained illegally.

Published 30th Nov, 2021

By Yakubu Mohammed

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