An Ikeja High Court has ordered the release of one Mr. Kazeen Adeshina after spending 15 years in a correctional facility without any charge or trial.

While ruling in a fundamental rights enforcement suit marked Number D/16997MFHR/24 filed by Adeshina’s counsel, Mr. Ben Okeke, Justice Oyindamola Ogala, held that detaining of Adeshina in prison without charge or trial was unjustifiable.

Ogala, in her ruling said the arrest and continued detention of Adeshina in the custody of the Medium Correctional Centre, Kirikiri, Lagos without a trial was wrong, illegal and unjustifiable.

She added that it was a gross violation of the applicant’s fundamental human rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
(Ratification Enforcement Act, Cap.10.

“As afore-stated, there is unchallenged fact that this applicant has remained in custody for about 15 years and is yet to be arraigned before a court of competent jurisdiction. The presumption of innocence enshrined in our constitution remains sacrosanct and it is indeed a travesty of justice for this to occur withou administration of criminal justice, no matter where the delay emanates from.

“Counsel to the first respondent has exhibited correspondence to the police to transfer the suspect for arraignment since 2003 which has remained unattended to and it appears that this applicant has fallen through the cracks and thus remained in custody for such years without trial.

“The presumption of innocence in our constitution remains sacrosanct and it is clear to this court that no good cause has been exhibited necessitating the continued remand of the applicant and therefore this court finds that the applicant is entitled to the declaratory order sought,” she said.

The judge, thereafter, ordered the immediate and unconditional release of the applicant from the custody of the Kirikiri Medium Correctional Centre.

The applicant’s counsel, Okeke, had filed the suit against the Lagos State Attorney-General, the Commissioner of Police and the Controller, Nigerian Correctional Service, Lagos State as first to third respondent respectively.

The applicant had prayed the court for a declaration that the arrest and continued detention of Adeshina in custody without a formal charge or trial was wrongful, illegal, unjustifiable and a gross violation of the applicant’s fundamental human rights.

The applicant’s counsel referred the court to the provisions of Section 35 (1) of the Constitution and submitted that it was inferable that whenever a deprivation of right to personal liberty is sought pursuant thereto, such deprivation must satisfy two conditions to satisfy the approval of the constitution.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)


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