ACJL SUCCESS STORY
The defendant was charged alongside two others before the High Court of Justice of Enugu State, sitting at Awgu Judicial Division for the alleged offences of burglary and stealing of copper cabbles and air conditioners committed on the 3rd of August, 2017 at Amata Mgbowo Community in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The defendant is a nineteen-year-old boy and the fourth out of five children of his parents. He attended only primary school due to lack of sponsorship as his parents died when he was at a tender age. He was left to fend for himself at his village and when life became unbearable, he migrated to Enugu, the capital of Enugu State.
On his arrival, he resorted to doing menial jobs including wheel barrow pushing as a means of survival. He provided accommodation to the first defendant who was stranded when he relocated to Enugu State from Adamawa State. Both of them were into wheel barrow pushing until that fateful day when their mutual friend visited and deceived them that he had a job for them in his village, Amata Mgbowo Community in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State. According to him, the nature of the job was to carry copper cables and aluminums to Enugu metropolis. They innocently followed him thinking it was a genuine job.
When they entered the compound where the supposed items were, people came and surrounded them and the two other defendants jumped through the fence and escaped, leaving him behind. He was arrested and taken to the police station. On interrogation by the police, he revealed the names of the two other defendants and they were accordingly arrested. They were subsequently taken to the Magistrate Court, Enugu where they were remanded to Enugu Maximum Security Custodial Centre (Prison) for lack of jurisdiction.
However, before the State could file Information for the commencement of trial in a court of competent jurisdiction, bail was already granted to the other two defendants. It was at this stage that CAPIO was briefed about the case during her regular weekly visit to the Enugu Maximum Custodial Centre.
When CAPIO lawyers came into the case, they discovered that the State had difficulties prosecuting the case due to the absence of the two other defendants which the Court had granted bench warrant for their arrest since 2019. The inability of the State to make progress in the prosecution was contrary to the provisions of the Administration of the Criminal Justice law of Enugu State 2017. On this ground, CAPIO applied for striking out of the charge on grounds of lack of diligent prosecution. The Court granted the application and the defendant was discharged on the 25th of February, 2020.
The defendant was grateful to CAPIO for her free legal representation.