JusticeMakers is delighted to announce that yesterday Patrick’s team reported the release of their first criminal defendant. The defendant was brought to the Lagos Magistrate Court on allegation of theft – he reportedly had stolen a mobile-phone handset from a shop. The defendant admitted visiting the shop but denied stealing the phone. Despite of the fact that he pleaded innocent and there was no evidence linking him to the theft, the police arrested the defendant and searched his house. No phone was found, but the police still would not drop the charges.
Shehu Olakunle, a member of Patrick’s paralegal team, was stationed at Ikeja High Court saw the suspect in handcuffs being escorted into the building. Mr. Olakunle inquired as to his offence, and promptly contacted Mr. Fidelis Eghiase, one of their legal aid lawyers. Mr.Eghiase immediately informed the court that he would be defending the suspect, and that there was no evidence upon which the court could try him. Thanks to the readiness of Patrick’s team, the suspect was released on bail. His hearing is on the 5th of March of this year. Had the Nigerian JusticeMakers not acted, the accused would have joined the thousands of other Nigerians who, wrongly-accused, are languishing in prison awaiting trail. The JusticeMakers team offers its congratulations to all those involved in this success!