This is the touching story of Kyari Umar, a 38-year old Northerner from Borno State, whose release we facilitated last month.
Sometime in February, 2020, Kyari Umar travelled from the North to visit his brother who lives at Ikorodu axis of Lagos. When he got to Ikorodu, while trying to locate his brother at about 10pm, he was arrested by the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).He was taken to the Police station where he was for a month before he was taken to court. He was arraigned on the 19th of March, 2020 but could not afford the services of a lawyer.
Kyari Umar was amazed when a one count charge for the possession of Two Expandant AK 47 Ammunition without any justification was read to him and he was asked to take his plea.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was later granted bail which could not be perfected because he could not get sureties. The matter was further adjourned to April for hearing. He was moved from the police station to Ikoyi prison.
In April 2020, the Lockdown due to COVID-19 had already begun, so the courts were not sitting. He therefore remained in custody hoping that someday he would get justice and be set free.
The lockdown was eased in July but he was never taken to court because he could not employ the services of a lawyer to follow up his case.
In November, 2020, Flemer Project Initiative took up Kyari Umar’s case. Upon Flemer’s first appearance, we brought an application before the court for striking out of the case for want of diligent prosecution having learnt that the IPO has never been in court.
The application was not granted because the defendant, Kyari Umar was not produced from custody.
The case was further adjourned to the 16th day of December and we also made an application for the production warrant be made available to the prison warden.
On the 16th of December, 2020, the case was struck out and Kyari Umar was discharged. He is now a free man and he has been reunited with his family.