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Monday, April 16, 2012

Girl Spends 4 Years In Prison For Buying Stolen Phone


What is this Nigeria turning into sef? “In
2008, I bought a Starcomms phone for
N10,000 in order to start a business centre.
A few days later, a man called me and said
the phone was stolen from him. I told the
man I didn’t know it was stolen. We had an
agreement that I should return the phone
and he would refund my money.

“I gave the man my address but when he
got to my place, he said the phone was
stolen from him along with his laptop and
some other vital documents . He accused me
of being a thief, called the police and had
me arrested. I was charged with robbery
and have been in Kirikiri since then as my
trial has yet to begin.”

“I told the IPO that I was only 16 years old
and that I knew nothing about the stolen
phone but the IPO wrote 21 on my
statement and claimed I was lying about
my age . I was arraigned as an adult.”

This is the story of 20 year old Blessing
Effion an awaiting trial inmate at the female
section of Kirikiri Prisons, Lagos. Her case
perhaps typifies the injustice suffered by
the poor in the Nigerian society.

Unfortunately, even after four years,
Blessing's trial had not begun as the court
was said to be awaiting advice from the
Director of Public Prosecutions . The truth
came out after the Akwa-Ibom indigene
was interviewed by the Attorney-General
of Lagos State Mr. Ade Ipaye during a visit
to the prisons.

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