ACJL Success Story: Justice Can Be Delayed, But Cannot Be Denied.(2)
The defendants are friends from the same village. In 2016, the second defendant came down to the east from (location withheld) and promised to take the first defendant to (location withheld) so that she could secure a menial job that would sustain her and her little baby. They embarked on the journey to (location withheld) sometime in June, 2016. However, they made a stopover at (location withheld) to eat at a restaurant when the baby of the first defendant started crying profusely suddenly. All efforts made by the duo to pacify the baby who was still breastfeeding proved abortive as her cry intensified. The restaurant operator became suspicious of them and immediately called the police. The police came and arrested them for child trafficking and detained them at(location withheld) Police Station, Enugu State. The defendants explained to the police that the child in question is the biological daughter of the first defendant and even showed them pictures of her one year birthday celebration and birth certificate but the police disbelieved them and transferred them to State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) where they were further detained for one week. The police collected the baby from them and kept in protective custody.
Subsequently, they were taken to the Magistrate Court, Enuguon one count charge of child trafficking. The court declined jurisdiction and remanded them at Enugu Maximum Custodial Centre. It was during CAPIO’s weekly visit to the facility that it acquired the case in 2016. CAPIO’s Legal Team applied for the bail of the defendants because the State had not filed Information. The bail application was granted. While the first defendant was released from custody because she was able to perfect her bail, the second defendant remained in custody as she had no substantial surety at the time. The State finally filed Information in 2018 and trial began. During trial, the Prosecution failed to prove the offence alleged, leaving the court with no other option than to discharge and acquit the defendants in 2020. The defendants and their respective families are thankful to CAPIO for the free legal representation.