Three men released after spending 6 years in jail without trial

An Ikeja High Court sitting in Lagos, has released three men, Peter Edialu, Godspower Friday, and Bayo Segun, after being detained in prison for about six years without trial.

It was gathered that the three men were first arrested and charged in 2018 and 2019, on charges bordering on sexual assault.

Justice Oyindamola Ogala, in separate judgements in the cases on Monday, Nov 13, ordered that “the applicants should be released and discharged forthwith if there are no pending matters in other courts.”

Counsel to the applicants, Ben Abraham said: “The High Court here in Lagos granted the enforcement of the fundamental rights of these three applicants, which we brought before the courts.

“They have been in detention for about six years. The oldest of them had been in Kirikiri Correctional Medium Custodial Centre since 2018 for sexual offences and was awaiting the Department of Public Prosecutions’ advice. But nothing has happened since then.

“When we got to the custodial centre and saw their plight—that they were not even before any courts or having the opportunity to defend themselves—we picked up their cases earlier this year.

“Today, the court upheld our submissions and application and directed that they be immediately and unconditionally released from custody after about six years without trial.”

Abraham added that the cases were just a few of the very sad and unfortunate set of circumstances facing the judicial system.

The applicants had sued the Attorney-General of Lagos State, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, and the correctional services for thei unlawful detention.

The state prosecution, representing the first respondent in the matter, did not object to the motion papers.