Crime News

Court frees man after 15 years in prison without trial

Written by silvernewsng

An Ikeja High Court on Monday ordered the release of a man, Kazeen Adeshina, after spending 15 years in a correctional facility without charge or trial.
Justice Oyindamola Ogala, while ruling in a fundamental rights enforcement suit marked No: D/16997MFHR/24 filed by Adeshina’s counsel, Mr Ben Okeke, held that detaining of Adeshina in prison without charge or trial was unjustifiable.


Ogala, in her ruling, said the arrest and continued detention of Adeshina in the custody of the Medium Correctional Centre, Kirikiri, Lagos without a trial was wrong, illegal and unjustifiable.
She added that it was a gross violation of the applicant’s fundamental human rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification Enforcement Act, Cap.10.
“As afore-stated, there is unchallenged fact that this applicant has remained in custody for about 15 years and is yet to be arraigned before a court of competent jurisdiction.


“The presumption of innocence enshrined in our constitution remains sacrosanct and it is indeed a travesty of justice for this to occur without administration of criminal justice, no matter where the delay emanates from.
“Counsel to the first respondent has exhibited correspondence to the police to transfer the suspect for arraignment since 2003 which has remained unattended to and it appears that this applicant has fallen through the cracks and thus remained in custody for such years without trial.


“The presumption of innocence in our constitution remains sacrosanct and it is clear to this court that no good cause has been exhibited necessitating the continued remand of the applicant and therefore this court finds that the applicant is entitled to the declaratory order sought,” she said.


The judge, thereafter, ordered the immediate and unconditional release of the applicant from the custody of the Kirikiri Medium Correctional Centre.
The applicant’s counsel, Okeke, had filed the suit against the Lagos State Attorney-General, the Commissioner of Police and the Controller, Nigerian Correctional Service, Lagos State as first to third respondent respectively.
The applicant had prayed the court for a declaration that the arrest and continued detention of Adeshina in custody without a a formal charge or trial was wrongful, illegal, unjustifiable and a gross violation of the applicant’s fundamental human rights.


The applicant’s counsel said: “An order directing the immediate and unconditional release of the applicant from the custody of the third respondent, Medium Correctional Centre, Kirikiri Lagos.
“An injunction restraining the respondents, their agents or privies from further breach of the applicants’ fundamental human rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended.
“An order admitting the applicant to bail pending his arraignment in court and for such further or other orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.


“The applicant filed in support of the application, the affidavit of urgency of six paragraphs as well as a supporting affidavit of 15 paragraphs deposed to by Joe Ameh, the Executive Coordinator in the office of Zarephath Aid dated the March 8.”
The applicant’s counsel referred the court to the provisions of Section 35 (1) of the Constitution and submitted that it was inferable that whenever a deprivation of right to personal liberty is sought pursuant thereto, such deprivation must satisfy two conditions to satisfy the approval of the constitution. (NAN).
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