- A Nigerian panel beater working at Alaba in Lagos state has finally been released after spending eight years in prison
- The young man named Ola was reportedly charged to court after failing to help some soldiers catch a group of boys
- Members of a foundation heard about the case of the young man and they stepped into the case and made sure he was released
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A young man identified as Ola spent eight years in prison after an encounter with soldiers on his way back from work.
The Lagos state resident who works as a panel beater was on his way home from work when she saw soldiers chasing after a group of boys.
He stayed in a corner and the soldiers came back to ask why he didn't help in catching the boys.
This infuriated the soldiers who took him to barracks and afterwards to the police station where he was detained and subsequently charged to court over armed robbery allegations.
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Panel beater set free after 8 years in prison
Headfort foundation shared the story on Facebook after intervening in the case and setting free the young man who had to spend eight years in prison.
"Ola was a Panel beater working at Alaba, in Lagos State, Nigeria. Sometime in May 2014, Ola was on his way back from work when he saw some people run by him.
"A few seconds later, soldiers ran after those persons. To his dismay, the soldiers returned angrily and questioned why he didn't stop the persons that ran by him. He explained to the soldiers that he didn't know them or why they were running and couldn't just have stopped them from running.
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"His response infuriated the soldiers more and they took him to base. The senior officer at the Barracks refused to let the soldiers keep him at the Barracks so they took him to the police station and reported that he didn't prevent the escape of the people they were chasing.
"The Officers at Orile Police Station moved him alongside other suspects taken to SARS Office Ikeja where he was later charged to Court for the offence of Armed robbery when he couldn't meet up with bail demands.
"The family members did their best and got him legal representation. After a while, they could no longer afford to pay so the lawyer withdrew his appearance.
"Since 2014, he remained in custody with no lawyer representing him until July 2022 when he got Headfort Foundation's contact from an inmate and he called to explain his ordeal.
"Our Lawyer, Awolu Itunuoluwa Ruth took his brief and traced his case to Lagos State High Court TBS. She began representing him for free. On Tuesday, just like every other day in which his case had come up for a trial, there was no witness.
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"The prosecution informed the Court that they intend to call official witnesses who happened to be Police Officers but they are not familiar with the witnesses and do not have their contact details or means of reaching them.
"Ola, who had been languishing in prison since 2014 awaiting trial was immediately released by the Court, and the charges against him were struck out."
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Netizens get emotional over story of panel beater
Idowu Oluyomi said:
"Just imagine because man didn't help stop people he does not know he was labeled an armed robber and no one was smart enough not punish an innocent man really, like seriously."
Falayi Babatope wrote:
"God Bless the Organization that helped him out of prison in Jesus mighty Name."
Oloye Rafiu reacted:
"Great, but please sue the government, the police and the soldiers.Imagine the eight years lost without any justification, they wasted the gal life. What about his family(ies)."
Man jailed wrongfully released after 33 years
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that after 33 years in jail, a Ghanaian man named Tetteh has been released after a killer falsely named him and one other person as his accomplices in a murder case.
The killer, Tengey, accused Tetteh of being his accomplice while people were beating him (Tengey) to name his accomplice before he will be spared.
Tengey also mentioned Gruma, another accomplice when the beatings did not stop. Tetteh and Gruma, however, insisted that they were innocent of the crime.