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Ehi Woods. @mcspella
, 14 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Yesterday @segalink advised that we stay away from buying used phones. I totally endorse that advice. Today i will share how a client was sentenced to death for buying a stolen generator. This is a true story.
Ideally, buying goods from a market overt, without any notice as to the defect in the title is enough defence, in so far as the goods were bought for a fair value but this is Nigeria where the vast majority of our Policemen are very ignorant of the law
So this guy of northern extraction (Haruna) was working as a gateman in Benin and someone approached him offering a small generator for sale. They bargained and agreed for 7k. The next day the guy brought the generator in a sack, collected the money and left.
A few days later Policemen came along with the young man (who had been well beaten) and arrested Haruna. All his explanations that he didn't know it was stolen fell on deaf ears. He was taken to the State CID where he was well tortured.
It was at the State CID that he discovered that the generator was the product of an armed robbery operation. The Policemen wanted to extract a confession from him that he was part of the robbery.
After some serious torture (you needed to have seen his body) he confessed and he was charged to Court. When we came into the matter it was clear his confession was involuntary as his wounds we still fresh sef.
We were able to get his confession thrown out for being made involuntarily. One would expect the case to be a smooth process for us thereafter but the Judge had other plans. He convicted Haruna and sentenced him to death.
In sentencing Haruna he relied on Sec. 167(a) of the Evidence Act that as He was in possession of stolen goods soon after the robbery he must have been part of the robbery. This was even though he explained the circumstances surrounding how he got the generator.
At this stage no one was paying for the case and there was no one to fund an appeal but we decided to do it pro bono because we were so sure that a grave injustice had been done.
On appeal the Court unanimously upheld our arguments that this case fell under the exception provided for under the same s.167(a). Haruna had explained how he he got the generator and they wondered why the trial Judge still convicted him. So Haruna was free to go.
The reason for this thread is to show that there is so much wrong with our criminal justice system. Starting from our very ignorant and dubious police force. It is better never to fall into their wahala because it may cost you so much to get out of it.
Bear it in that he was charged and convicted for armed robbery which carries the death penalty and not for receiving stolen goods whicj carries a few years imprisonment. The problem started from the shoddy police investigation and the charge.
Unless you know the origin of a phone please stay away from used phones. Many have suffered untold pain and even death because of this. May God protect us all as we stay away from wahala.
Meanwhile, if you graduated from Uniben or you school there kindly follow our official Twitter handle @UnibenDARE
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