In the small town of Evbuoriaria, a young man named Ibrahim (pseudo) found himself trapped in a web of accusations. On that fateful day, he stood before the Evbuoriaria Magistrates’ Court, charged with stealing a tricycle—a crime he vehemently denied committing. The weight of uncertainty and fear settled upon his shoulders as he pleaded not guilty.
Although granted bail, Ibrahim’s hopes quickly dwindled. He was a stranger in Edo State, hailing from the northern part of Nigeria, with no contacts or support to lean on.
For 7 months, there were several adjournments without trial since his arraignment, and he had no legal representation until we took over the case on 25th April 2023 where we approached the court with a proposal of a restorative resolution between Ibrahim and the nominal complainant. The court embraced this proposition, applauding our intent.
Through our restorative justice skills, we were able to effectively resolve the dispute between Ibrahim and the complainant. A single adjournment later, the case was withdrawn, and Ibrahim was finally set free with tears of relief streaming down his face as he embraced his newfound hope and a chance to rebuild his shattered life.
Reja is particularly happy to have secured the release of Ibrahim and we urge judges and magistrates to applaud and recommend the use of alternative dispute mechanisms and restorative justice in the peaceful resolution of cases.