Nigeria

Judge Finally Discharges Woman Imprisoned For Over Two Years While Undergoing Trial

Justice Sybil Nwaka-Gbagi has finally ordered the discharge of Catherine Edet Ekaete, a mother of two, who has been in prison for over two years on allegation of concealing of child defilement.

The judge struck-out the case at the hearing on Wednesday.

Discharging her, the judge directed the prosecutor to amend the charges to focus only on the prime suspect.

Ekaete was the second defendant and has been in prison since 2018 when the case started.

However, after spending over two years in prison, her lawyer wrote to the Lagos State Attorney-General, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), for her discharge on the basis of spending more than the prescribed maximum jail term if found guilty.

The case was subsequently withdrawn from prosecution by Onigbanjo but despite that, Justice Nwaka-Gbagi continued to deliberately keep Ekaete in prison by not issuing a release order for her.

The judge has absented herself from presiding on the case thrice after prosecution was withdrawn by the government before the eventual discharge.

In a letter obtained by SaharaReporters, the Attorney-General wrote, “Having spent more than the prescribed years, it is the resolution of the Office of the Attorney-General that the case against the applicant/second defendant be discharged.

“An amended charge be preferred against the first defendant and to proceed against him."

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