How two brothers spent years in prison without committing crime

Chidiebere and Samuel Nana had spent two years in prison for an offence they did not commit.

The two brothers from Abia State wanted a better life and had chosen Lagos as their destination. They took to working as bus conductors.

On December 11, the Nana brothers set out for work as they would usually do.

According to the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, which published the story originally, fate had a different plan for the brothers on the day.

It happened that some members of the Oodua People’s Congress had arrested two robbers at Iyanaoworo.

The neighborhood vigilante reportedly beat the robbers and asked to know their accomplices.

One of the robbers looked around and his eyes settled on the two brothers. He pointed at Chidiebere and Samuel, and the OPC men promptly arrested them.

The brothers were taken to Iyanaoworo Police Division, but the police reportedly rejected them. Instead, the police officers asked the OPC men to take the ‘suspects’ to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti.

Pronto, they became tenants of the CID, Panti, from where they landed in Ikoyi Prison.

The brothers were subsequently arraigned for armed robbery before a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja. Due to their being poor, the brothers could not afford the services of a lawyer.

But, help finally came for them as another inmate nudged them to meet with HeadForte Foundation, a not-for-profit working to decongest the prisons.

“They spent close to two months at Panti before they were charged to court for armed robbery”, said the HeadForte Foundation.

One lawyer working with the not-for-profit investigated the Nanas brothers’ case. While at it, the lawyer found that the court had referred their case file to the DPP’s office for legal advice.

Photo illustration of man behind bars
Credit: iStock

The lawyer obtained the legal advice and presented the same to the court.

“The DPP’s advice was that the two brothers should be released, as they had no case to answer. They only took them along with the other defendants who had a case to answer.

“Our lawyer made sure the court knew about the mistakes.

“They released them immediately, but they had already spent two years and two months in prison,” said HeadForte Foundation.

Chidiebere and Samuel finally regained freedom on March 2, 2022.








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