Nigerian court frees man from Kirikiri prison after nine years without trial
A Lagos State High Court sitting in the Ikeja division has ordered the release of a man named Muideen Bilau who had been imprisoned for nine years without trial.
This was contained in judgement given by Justice Rahman Adesola Oshodi, discharging Muideen Bilau on Monday after nine years of remand at the Kirikiri Medium Correctional Centre.
It was learnt that Bilau was arrested on 5th of April, 2014 around Igando area of Lagos State where he paid a visit to one of his friends from his hometown of Oyo, Oyo State and was arraigned on Monday, 14th of April, 2014 before T. A. ELIAS (CM II) at Court 5, Abule Egba, Ikeja Magisterial District, for an alleged offence of defilement and later remanded in the Kirikiri Medium prison, now correctional centre.
He was released on the application of his legal team, led by Yusuf Temilola who cited Section 232 (1) (b) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State 2015 (2021 as amended), Section 35(4) and 36(4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Yusuf informed the Court in his petition to discharge the Defendant that the Defendant had been remanded in the prison now correctional center since April 14, 2014, without trial. In fact, the state preferred information against the Defendant in response to his application for the enforcement of the Defendant’s fundamental rights filed with the Federal High Court on May 21, 2020. He stated that the preferred date of July 16, 2020 was an afterthought.
On the 14th of September, 2021, Hon. Justice T. G. Ringim of the Federal High Court delivered judgment based on the fact that the State had preferred information against the Defendant before a Court of competent jurisdiction.
Reacting to the application of the Defendant’s Counsel, the investigation Counsel Inumidun Okeowo left the decision up to the Court.
In a well-considered ruling, Justice R. A. Oshodi stated that this is a case in which the court would exercise its inherent powers and the provisions of Section 232(1)(b) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State 2015 (2021 as amended), Section 35(4) and 36(5) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution (as amended). The Defendant was discharged by the court.