After 11 Years In Prison, Two Suspects Are Set Free
It felt like heaven. They regained their rights to move freely across the world.
The two suspects have been on trial for 11 years. On Monday, they were discharged by an Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan.
Justice Adegbola Gbolagunte told Abideen Alasela and Tope Mustapha to go home after the prosecution failed to present witnesses against them.
The defendants have been in prison since 2006 on a four-count charge of conspiracy and armed robbery, with others still at large.
The judge noted that the liberty of a citizen is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the Constitution.
Principal State Counsel, Mrs R. Yusuf, had earlier told the court that efforts to get witnesses to testify on the matter had proved abortive, and urged the court to use its discretion to decide on the case.
Counsel to the defendants, Mr B. Falola, told the court that since the defendants were confined to prison custody in July 2006, the prosecution was only able to present one witness.
The defendants were alleged to have committed the offences of conspiracy and armed robbery on July 12, 2006 at 1AM in Oke-Apa, Yemetu area of Ibadan.
The prosecutor had alleged that the defendants conspired and robbed three persons, Ayorinde Samsudeen, Kazeem Fakorede and Adebiyi Omobolanle of their properties and 72,000 Naira cash while armed with cutlasses and a big stick.
The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges and were remanded in prison custody without bail.