A Borno indigene, Peter John, has reunited with family and friends after spending 15 months in prison, his lawyer, Fetus Ogun, told PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday.
He was released on Tuesday, almost a month after Robert Kpanou, a Benin Republic national, was freed.
The lawyer said Mr John’s family reached out to him shortly after the matter was struck out in court on December 17.
“He was the last defendant in that matter who was left in custody. And ever since the court resumed, we have been on it since the beginning of this year. And he was out yesterday,” he said.
When this newspaper contacted Mr John through his brother Hosea, he said he (Peter) wasn’t with him at the moment. He asked this reporter to call back Thursday to speak with Mr John.
According to the Punch newspaper, the 23-year-old was arrested on October 23, 2020, on his way to work by the police
“I had a horrible experience in prison. I was arrested for what I didn’t do. I was not arrested at any riot venue. I was arrested days after the riot on my way to work at Lekki new market,” he told the newspaper.
“They told me that I was part of those that caused riots in Lagos State. They also said I was part of those that burnt government properties. These are lies.”
Mr John described his prison experience as a painful one.
“I really suffered there. It was a very painful experience. I almost died of hunger. A lot of people die of hunger there.
“Prisoners cannot even consume the kind of food they give to us. They give us food two times a day. In the morning, they give us beans and if you dare eat the beans, you will fall sick and suffer diarrhoea. After the beans, they will give us garri in the evening.”
He said he got “seriously sick” in prison adding that he was beaten by his fellow prisoners called the “seniors.”
Mr Ogun told this newspaper that there is a need for urgent reform in the judicial system.
The violence that ensued after the protest against police brutality left many parts of the state with burnt buildings including the palace of the Oba of Lagos, Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), TVC, police stations, and others.
Following the incident, many young Nigerians were picked randomly and taken to prison on allegations that they took part in the mayhem that trailed the largely peaceful protest.
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