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Friday, June 9, 2023

LAB secures discharge of ‘violent’ youth

HomeAYV NewsLAB secures discharge of ‘violent’ youth

LAB secures discharge of ‘violent’ youth


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The Legal Aid Defence Counsel Hadiru Daboh secured the discharge after drawing the court’s attention to the failure of the complainant to attend court sittings for seven consecutive adjournments. What’s more, the complainant has not furnished the court with any reasons for his absence. Magistrate I.S. Bangura agreed with the Defence Counsel and discharged the matter. He noted that discharge would not stop the prosecution from reinstating the matter in future.

The accused, Alpha Kanu who plied his trade as driver and apprentice at the Wilberforce lorry park got involved in a fight with his boss Michael Aruna in February 2017.  He was arrested and taken to the Congo Cross Police station following a complaint by his boss. According to Alpha Kanu, his injuries were ignored by the police even though they were more serious. He spent fifteen days at the Congo police station before the matter was charged to court.

 The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles described the discharge as a test case which has been won.  ‘We will be representing accused charged with election related violence,’ she said. ‘This case has, in some way, prepared us for the task ahead in terms of approach and legal arguments.’

According to Carlton-Hanciles there are lessons to be learned. ‘The complainant is not interested in justice, he is only interested in having the accused locked up which he succeeded in doing,’ she said.  ‘We have too many such cases in our justice system, we have to find a way of punishing those who undermine the justice delivery system in this manner. I have a feeling we will have a lot of such cases in the election period, wherein people take matters which could be resolved in the community to the police to have their opponents lock up. We will be very ruthless with people who use the justice system to witch hunt or punish their opponents.’

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