A Nigerian man has shared a chilling testimony of how he regained his freedom 10 years after he was wrongly arrested, while returning from watching a football match.
During his testimony in church, the man who gave his name as Martin, said he was returning from a viewing center where he went to watch a Chelsea/Barcelona game in 2013, when he was picked up by some policemen.
‘’I only went to watch football. As I was coming back, some policemen parked beside me and said we should enter. I know I am stubborn so I dragged with the officers. I said what did I do? I went to watch football. There was a crowd coming so why should it be me that was picked? Before I knew it, the guy threw teargas on me.”
He said he was taken to the station and thrown into a cell. He said the officers did not take his statement nor allow him contact his family.
‘’The third day. I will never forget this woman called DSP Dikko. She just came and said okay ‘Bring him out’. His case is settled already. Let us take him. Where am I going? No contact. None of my family members knew where I was. Before I knew it, they took me straight to court where they were calling another person’s name which I wasn’t the one. They came to force me up. They said I collided with some people to kill and rob which I didn’t know anything, I thought it was a joke.”
He said he was taken to court every year until 2019 when the officers stopped. He said it was in 2020 that he met with people who came to preach the word of God. He said a particular warder took interest in him and when some persons from the Justice, Development and Peace Commission came in 2021 to help some inmates, the warder came to call him. He said the JCPC members pledged to fight for him.
He said he told the JCPC members that he is a graduate of University of Ibadan. Martins said the JCPC members immediately went to his school and after authenticating his claim, proceeded to court and argued that the wrong person has consistently been bought to court for a crime he did not commit. He said the JCPC members were able to help secure his release.
He added that he lost his mum and wife while he was in prison but that he is grateful that he is alive.