A Nigerian man identified as Martin has recounted his decade-long ordeal of being wrongfully arrested and imprisoned after attending a football match.
The chilling narrative of his unjust Imprisonment unfolded during a church service where he shared his harrowing journey to freedom.
Martin’s nightmare began in 2013 when he was returning from a local viewing center where he had gone to watch a football match between Chelsea and Barcelona.
Little did he know that this seemingly ordinary activity would lead to a decade of injustice. As he made his way home, he was accosted by policemen who abruptly detained him without explanation.
He questioned the officers about his arrest, leading to a confrontation. Despite his protests, he was subjected to teargas and hauled away to a police station, where he was tossed into a cell.
In his words;
‘’I only went to watch football. As I was coming back, some policemen parked beside me and said we should enter. I know I am stubborn so I dragged with the officers. I said what did I do? I went to watch football. There was a crowd coming so why should it be me that was picked? Before I knew it, the guy threw teargas on me.”
Shockingly, the police neither recorded his statement nor allowed him to contact his family.
Days turned into years as Martin remained confined, with his hope dwindling.
‘’The third day. I will never forget this woman called DSP Dikko. She just came and said okay ‘Bring him out’. His case is settled already. Let us take him. Where am I going? No contact. None of my family members knew where I was. Before I knew it, they took me straight to court where they were calling another person’s name which I wasn’t the one. They came to force me up. They said I collided with some people to kill and rob which I didn’t know anything, I thought it was a joke,” he added.
He vividly remembered the turning point occurring on the third day of his captivity when a woman named DSP Dikko intervened.
She declared that his case was settled and ordered his release. Confused and disoriented, Martin was taken to court without prior notice or knowledge of the charges against him.
In an astonishing twist of fate, Martin found himself implicated in a crime he had no knowledge of.
Year after year, he was brought to court, a pawn in a justice system that seemed determined to deny him his freedom.
The turning point came in 2020 when he encountered individuals spreading the message of God.
Among them, a compassionate prison warder took interest in his story, and in 2021, members of the Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JCPC) stepped in to advocate for him.
Revealing his educational background as a graduate of the University of Ibadan, Martin’s supporters sprung into action.
They verified his claims and, armed with irrefutable evidence, they presented his case to the court.
The JCPC members passionately argued that the wrong individual had been consistently brought to trial for a crime he had no involvement in.
Their relentless efforts ultimately bore fruit as Martin was proven innocent and set free.
He added that he lost his mum and wife while he was in prison but that he is grateful that he is alive.