Abandoned in Prison for 1 year over a fight with a Police Officer,Tortured and Abused- SJ regains his freedom

Mr Solomon Jonah (SJ pseudonym) was arrested in Port Harcourt sometime in May 2022 over an altercation between him and a Police Officer. SJ was a fuel black marketer in Port Harcourt. On the day of the incident, the police officer took all of SJ’s merchandise, which led to an altercation that resulted in SJ reaching for the officer’s gun when the officer threatened to shoot him.

SJ was arrested and remanded in a police cell in Port Harcourt for five days during which he was severely beaten and his life repeatedly threatened by some police officers. 

He was later handcuffed in his hands and feet and taken to the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) where he was detained for more than five months before he was arraigned at the FCT High Court on the 8th of September 2022. He was thereafter moved from there and arraigned before the Upper Area Court in Mpape Abuja on 9th November 2022.

REJA through the Legal department met SJ in January, and after a thorough search of his file, it was discovered that the Complainant had abandoned the matter and left SJ to rot in the Keffi Correctional Centre where he was remanded. It was also discovered, that the matter came up on 5 different dates but the state failed to show up to prosecute the matter.

Consequently, REJA represented SJ and after making their case before the judge, a release warrant was issued on 9th March 2023.

SJ was finally released on 10th March 2023 and it was an emotional scene when SJ informed his wife and two children (a boy and a girl) of his miraculous release from custody.

With no family or shelter in Abuja, REJA assisted with his reintegration by providing financial  support for him to reunite with his family.

There are many SJ’s in our correctional centres and we will keep pushing boundaries to ensure they are all released.

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